Michigan, Ohio collaborate on growth opportunities for clean energy manufacturing

Monday, December 16, 2013

From manufacturing plants to office buildings to residential homes, the quest to reduce energy costs and waste has created a fast-growing demand to find ways to be more energy efficient.

LANSING, Mich. – From manufacturing plants to office buildings to residential homes, the quest to reduce energy costs and waste has created a fast-growing demand to find ways to be more energy efficient.

Made possible with joint-funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan Energy Office and Ohio Energy Office, manufacturers of energy-efficiency products in Michigan and Ohio will receive vital assistance in developing technology, designing prototypes, improving manufacturing processes and assessing opportunities in the burgeoning energy market.

“Making things and making them work better is what we do in Michigan,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “These funds and this partnership will open doors to new opportunities for manufacturers of energy-efficiency products, and create new jobs in an industry sector that holds great growth potential.”

On Wednesday, the Michigan-Northeastern Ohio Regional Clean Energy Roadmap Project – a collaboration between the Michigan and Ohio energy offices – received a total of $702,500, made up of $400,000 in federal funding and an additional $302,500 from the respective states. The project aims to foster growth in the clean-energy sector in both states while promoting technologies to improve energy efficiency.

Energy-efficiency products range from sophisticated energy-use monitors for large-scale application in factories, public and private buildings, along with temperature-control gauges, insulation, windows, doors and skylights. Specifically, the Clean Energy Roadmap Project will develop technology roadmaps, analyze value chains, create asset maps, and convene stakeholders, companies and others to identify opportunities and barriers to growing clean-energy manufacturing in Michigan and Ohio.

“The key is to understand the capacity of the current energy-efficiency manufacturing sector, and to determine what is needed to compete and succeed in the advanced energy market,” said Steve Bakkal, director of the Michigan Energy Office, which is managed under the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Ideally, we’re creating opportunities for Michigan energy-efficiency manufacturers to grow their business, but this also helps to attract new businesses,” said Bakkal, who also serves as senior policy director at MEDC.

In October, the American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) ranked Michigan as the 12th most effective state in terms of energy efficiency policies.

According to Bakkal, the project provides energy-efficiency manufacturers with expert analysis so improvements can be readily made and specific recommendations can be heeded to enhance competitiveness.

NextEnergy of Detroit and NorTech of Ohio will conduct independent and comprehensive assessments of the strengths and assess of energy efficiency based companies in Michigan and northeastern Ohio.

“The NextEnergy team is thrilled to be part of the Clean Energy Roadmap Project that will accelerate investment and job creation in the region,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “We look forward to working with NorTech and the Michigan and Ohio energy offices to identify synergies between our supply chains and drive clean-energy technology innovation.”

Since 2002, NextEnergy has helped to attract $1.3 billion in new advanced energy technology investments. The Detroit-based nonprofit partners with universities, nonprofit research groups and a range of businesses in the pursuit of developing and testing energy technologies. NextEnergy’s evaluation of current energy-efficiency manufacturers will examine the process from raw material stage to design to engineering to manufacturing and delivery.

The U.S. Department of Energy funds for the Clean Energy Roadmap Project come from the federally administered State Energy Program, which awarded $4 million to 13 states to increase statewide energy savings and boost energy efficiency of public institutions, local governments and industrial sectors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Thursday, Dec. 19, Gov. Rick Snyder will conduct a roundtable discussion on the future of Michigan’s energy policy. For more information, please visit http://www.michigan.gov/snyder.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. serves as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth.

The Michigan Energy Office promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy resource development to Michigan's residents, businesses, and public institutions. The Michigan Energy Office is part of the Michigan Strategic Fund, which receives administrative services from MEDC. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.