Michigan Hub in Litchfield, Mich. (southeast of Battle Creek), has broken ground today on its clean power generating facility at 720 Herring Road. The gas-fired cogeneration facility will be located at the site of the former Edicott coal-fired power plant.
More than $100 million will be invested in the 42-acre site to complete phase one of the project. The facility has a modular design, and the last module for the combined heat and power plant is expected to be installed by mid-2022.
Michigan Hub expects to have 176 megawatts of power-generating capacity – 150 megawatts to meet the needs of Michigan municipal utilities to comply with State Act 341, which mandates sourcing local electrical capacity, and 26 megawatts for its industrial tenants.
“Michigan Hub will craft the future with local power, supplying our tenants and customers with clean, locally-sourced electricity, steam, and chilled water at a price that will reduce their production and utility costs and increase their competitive positions,” says Glenn Foy, CEO of Michigan Hub.
“Michigan Hub’s vision is aligned with the corporate sustainability missions of companies located in Litchfield, and we plan to attract additional tenants to our site on Herring Road. We believe in a true hub of forward-looking businesses that demand low-cost energy that is locally produced and reduces their carbon footprint and costs.”
The campus will house the power plant and other businesses that will use power generated by the facility.
Michigan Hub’s first tenant will be Independent Barley and Malt Inc., a commercial-scale producer of malted barley and grains for craft brewers and distillers in the Great Lakes region. Independent will be the largest malt house in Michigan and the largest east of Milwaukee, producing 50,000 tons of malted grains each year.
“Independent Barley and Malt’s operation is energy-intense,” says Michael Cooper, CEO of Independent. “Our initial interest in locating our plant in Litchfield was because of Michigan Hub’s vision for the site. The synergies were immediately clear – the opportunity to access lower-cost energy at an industrial site located in a thriving rural community were critical to our site selection. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Michigan Hub and build on the success of each other’s projects.”
Phase one of the project is expected to create about 75 jobs, which is about the same as those previously working at the former Endicott Power Plant. Once the plant is completed, it is expected to have 20-25 full-time employees.
“The renewal of the old power plant to one that is clean and uses state-of-the-art technology validates our work,” says Doug Terry, city manager of Litchfield. “Michigan Hub and Independent Barley and Malt will be perfect additions to our community. We look forward to welcoming more businesses to Michigan Hub’s energy park in Litchfield.”
Michigan Hub acquired the property from Michigan South Central Utility Resource Solutions, formerly Michigan South Central Power Agency, on Sept. 30, 2016. A full demolition is scheduled for completion by the end of October.