Grand Valley State University, First Power and Siemens Corporation have announced their plan for a long term partnership that will focus on research and development of new energy technologies to be highlighted at the “Energy Center of Excellence” located in Muskegon, Michigan.GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – June 7, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] As a first concrete action, Grand Valley State University has created a formal working group with several corporations, including Siemens Corporation and First Power, to explore the development of the center in the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone. The center would serve as an international energy technology destination, offering different resources to companies, researchers and scientists throughout the world. The plan calls for a research institute to explore alternative sources of energy, a business incubator to develop energy-related ventures, a resource base, an education and training center and a conference center. “The formation of this working group is a vote of confidence in the citizens and leadership in Western Michigan, and a show of support for our vision of building the nation’s first Energy Center of Excellence,” said David Mielke, dean of the Seidman School of Business at Grand Valley State University. “Our objectives will be to engage other companies and organizations in the design and offerings of the facilities and resources we will offer and to identify different sources of revenue to fund and, eventually, sustain the development. Every corporation and every individual in this country has a vested interest in finding new energy sources and new ways of making existing sources yield better results. We invite other companies to get involved in this ground-breaking project that will help our country, and perhaps the world, change the way we view – and use – energy.” The development would be the first commercial project in the world to integrate fuel cell technology, heat recovery system, micro-turbines, solar/photovoltaics, and nickel metal hydride battery storage system. The facility itself would be the first distributed energy (electricity, heat and cooling) system in the world serving a mixed use development. “We believe this Center will become the single greatest source of energy research and development in the country, attracting people and companies from throughout the world to study and learn in Western Michigan,” said U.S. Representative Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan 2nd District.