Michigan Hub is bringing clean power to Hillsdale County.
The energy company will invest $100 million toward the revamping of Endicott Generating Plant, the former coal power plant in Litchfield, Michigan. Michigan Hub’s various planned methods of clean power production are expected to provide businesses with low-cost energy solutions.
“The core element of the company is about reducing carbon footprint at a cost that saves the ecosystem money,” CEO of Michigan Hub, Glenn Foy said. “A key way to do that is predicated on this concept of combined heat power.”
Combined heat power aims to maximize efficiency by using the excess heat generated when natural gas is converted into electricity.
“If you’re able to put the power plant in a location that allows you to sell electricity directly to the industrial folks, and you can provide them with the waste heat, the efficiency of the plant goes up to 80 or 90 percent,” Foy said.
Michigan Hub was formed in September of 2016 in order to buy and develop the Litchfield site, according to Foy. The site is Michigan Hub’s first project, but Foy said the company’s ambitions don’t stop at this one site.
“This is a scalable model,” Foy said. “We’re looking at other projects as well, but right now our big focus is on securing additional tenants for the Litchfield site.”
The first business to plan on moving to the new park is Independent Barley & Malt, a commercial barley producer facility for craft brewers across the Great Lakes region, according to Michigan Hub’s website.
“The craft beer business is a very high-growth segment of the beer market,” Foy said. “They ended up coming to Litchfield because of our infrastructure.”
The company’s operations require high levels of electricity and heat. That these two needs can be provided by Michigan Hub at a cheaper cost is the main reason the company chose to come to Litchfield, according to Foy.
“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,” Independent Barley & Malt CEO Michael Cooper said. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Michigan Hub and build on the success of each other’s projects.”
In attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Litchfield on Oct. 10 was Chris McArthur, who serves as Director of the Board of Public Utilities in Hillsdale. He said the largest impact to the community will be through the jobs this project affords, which will have an impact both through the energy plant and through the craft beer brewing aspects of the project.
“Anytime you can bring jobs to Hillsdale, I certainly support that,” McArthur said. “I think it’s good for that project to go along.”