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About MEDC

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J. Gregory Northrup

Greg Northrup

Principal , Sustainable Partners, LLC, Grand Rapids

Current Focus

Greg Northrup is a Principal with Sustainable Partners LLC (Spart), which he formed in May of 2011 to design, build, own, and operate alternative and renewable energy projects. The principle focus of the company is the development of best in class distributive energy projects utilizing the company’s technical expertise in biomass fueled application using anaerobic digestion and combined heat and power engines applications.

Spart offers its clients access to sophisticated financial and technical modeling and innovative financial structures, designed to produce not only excellent financial performance, but best practices, market leading operating performance.

Spart allows Greg to connect his desire to be an entrepreneur with his passion for alternative and renewable energy applications. Developing alternative and renewable energy projects requires a thorough understanding of how to conduct complex negotiations, while remaining focused on the overall objectives of a long-term energy project. His many years of experience in accounting, distribution operations, power plant construction, governmental affairs, communications and economic development for a large utility/energy company has given him a broad understanding of the energy business and helps him to evaluate the strategic advantages of integrating potentially unique sets of assets associated with each project.

As the Principal for Spart, he drives company’s strategy and directs its sales and marketing initiatives. The company's first project, Lowell Energy AD, LLC, began generating power for sale to Lowell Light and Power under the terms of a 20 year power purchase agreement. 

Northrup was appointed to the MEDC Executive Committee in 2011.

Professional Background

Prior to forming Spart, Greg served as the President of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance (WMSA) starting in April 2006, following a successful repositioning of the organization while serving as interim president. During his tenure, the organization secured grants and contributions totaling over $20 million, including a WIRED grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for $15 million dollars over three-years. The organization focused on local government collaborations, the development and use of regional indicators, protection, preservation and management of the region’s natural resources, sustainable manufacturing to include a concentration on alternative energy, internships, literacy and innovation in workforce development designed to ensure the region’s competitive position.

WMSA was nationally recognized in 2010 for its leadership in creating effective and collaborative regional processes, in a report published by the Council on Competitiveness, entitled, National Prosperity/Regional Leadership. Further, its WIRED initiative gained national attention after adopting ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificates program, putting West Michigan on the forefront of worker credentialing.

Northrup came to WMSA after a long career with CMS Energy/Consumers Energy, headquartered in Jackson, Michigan, where he held the position of Director of Economic Development. In this position, he had responsibilities for economic development in regions served by the company. Its programs were consistently recognized as one of the top ten in the U.S. and internationally, with special recognition for innovative programming focusing on international business attraction and development strategies in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia and redevelopment of urban core cities.

Education and Personal

Northrup is a graduate of Albion College with a BA in Economics. He was recently recognized by Business Review for his unrelenting commitment to West Michigan “Creating a Region – The Challenges of Collaboration”.