MUSKEGON — A $3 million state grant guarantees the development of a business incubator and alternative-energy research center as part of the high-tech business park along Muskegon’s waterfront.
Grand Valley State University is planning to break ground in mid-September on the $8.3 million facility that will include a fuel-cell electric generator. Occupancy for what’s been tagged as the “office of the future” is targeted for next spring, said Dave Mielke, dean of GVSU’s Seidman School of Business.
The $3 million energy efficiency grant awarded to GVSU late last month from the Michigan Public Service Commission provides the final funding piece for the facility. The remaining $5.3 million will come from bonds the City of Muskegon plans to issue as a partner in the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone, planned for the 34-acre former Teledyne site along Muskegon Lake.
The grant was one of 12 the MPSC awarded statewide totaling $12.2 million to support energy efficient technologies and expand commercial markets.
GVSU had sought $6 million from the MPSC to help finance the research center/business incubator and a $20 million to $25 million fuel-cell power plant planned by Siemens Corp. that will provide electricity to the entire business park.
Given the tough competition for the MPSC grants, Mielke was pleased that GVSU got $3 million.
“It’s a real plus,” Mielke said. “We’d be in tough shape if we’d gotten nothing.”
GVSU and Siemens are continuing to pursue financing options for the fuel-cell power plant, he said.