Michigan Coal Plant to be Redeveloped into Clean-Power Site

WNEM – https://www.wnem.com/news/michigan-coal-plant-to-be-redeveloped-into-clean-power-site/article_7fc13582-d56f-11e8-9ea3-b79df55ad905.html

Coal Plan to be Redeveloped into Clean Power Site

Detroit News – https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/10/21/michigan-coal-plant-redevelopment-clean-energy/38231819/

Litchfield, Mich. – A Michigan company is turning a former coal-fired power plant into a clean energy facility.

Michigan Hub, Inc. recently broke ground on the $100 million project at the Endicott Generating Plant in Litchfield. The 44-acre energy park will provide up to 168 megawatts of power to tenants, adjacent industrial facilities and local municipalities, the company said.

“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,” said Michigan Hub CEO Glenn Foy.

Michigan Hub plans to have 15 tenants at the site.

“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,” Foy said.

Independent Barley & Malt, Inc. has been confirmed as the first tenant, according to a press release.

Independent produces malted barley and other grains for brewers and distillers. The company produces 50,000 tons of malted grains annually, according to the press release.

“Our initial interest in locating our plant in Litchfield was because of Michigan Hub’s vision for the site,” said Independent CEO Michael Cooper. “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.”

The project could create up to 75 full-time jobs and is scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2021, officials said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Michigan Coal Plant to be Redeveloped into Clean-Power Site

Associated Press – https://www.apnews.com/3a76ce5008c74f4498da81c5675f24c3

LITCHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan company is turning a former coal-fired power plant into a clean energy facility.

Michigan Hub, Inc. recently broke ground on the $100 million project at the Endicott Generating Plant in Litchfield. The 44-acre energy park will provide up to 168 megawatts of power to tenants, adjacent industrial facilities and local municipalities, the company said.

“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,” said Michigan Hub CEO Glenn Foy.

Michigan Hub plans to have 15 tenants at the site.

“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,” Foy said.

Independent Barley & Malt, Inc. has been confirmed as the first tenant, according to a press release.

Independent produces malted barley and other grains for brewers and distillers. The company produces 50,000 tons of malted grains annually, according to the press release.

“Our initial interest in locating our plant in Litchfield was because of Michigan Hub’s vision for the site,” said Independent CEO Michael Cooper. “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.”

The project could create up to 75 full-time jobs and is scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2021, officials said.

Michigan Coal Plant to be Redeveloped into Clean-Power Site

Midland Daily News – https://www.ourmidland.com/news/article/Michigan-coal-plant-to-be-redeveloped-into-13324582.php#photo-16370071 

LITCHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan company is turning a former coal-fired power plant into a clean energy facility.

Michigan Hub, Inc. recently broke ground on the $100 million project at the Endicott Generating Plant in Litchfield. The 44-acre energy park will provide up to 168 megawatts of power to tenants, adjacent industrial facilities and local municipalities, the company said.

“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,” said Michigan Hub CEO Glenn Foy.

Michigan Hub plans to have 15 tenants at the site.

“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,” Foy said.

 

Independent Barley & Malt, Inc. has been confirmed as the first tenant, according to a press release.

Independent produces malted barley and other grains for brewers and distillers. The company produces 50,000 tons of malted grains annually, according to the press release.

“Our initial interest in locating our plant in Litchfield was because of Michigan Hub’s vision for the site,” said Independent CEO Michael Cooper. “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.”

The project could create up to 75 full-time jobs and is scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2021, officials said.

 

Commercial-Scale Malting Facility a “Game-Changer” for State’s Craft Beverage Supply Chain

MiBiz – https://mibiz.com/sections/manufacturing/commercial-scale-malting-facility-a-game-changer-for-state-s-craft-beverage-supply-chain?highlight=WyJtYWx0IiwibWFsdCdzIl0=

LITCHFIELD — A group of investors plans to open a commercial-scale malting and grain-processing facility about an hour east of Kalamazoo to serve the region’s growing craft beverage industry.

Independent Barley & Malt Inc. is in the process of wrapping up its remaining financing and intends to break ground in April 2019 on what’s billed as the largest malt house east of Milwaukee.

According to CEO Michael Cooper, the company has secured seed capital from its partners, as well as mezzanine financing and debt, to build a commercial-scale malt house that targets production of 47,500 tons of malted grains annually. It aims to commission the plant in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Based in Litchfield, a Hillsdale County city with a population of about 1,300 people, Independent Barley & Malt is the first tenant announced for the new 42-acre Michigan Hub LLC, a $100 million natural gas-fired cogeneration power plant that broke ground last week. The facility, which could produce up to 176 megawatts of electricity by 2022, will supply power, steam and chilled water at advantageous costs to onsite companies.

“The reason we’re at Michigan Hub in Litchfield … is because this offers us the greatest competitive advantage, the lowest cost of doing business. We’re very thermally intensive. If we were combusting natural gas in our kilns, like much of the competition today, this project would not be as profitable or as successful,” said Cooper, an entrepreneur who worked for decades in the biofuels industry.

By locating within the cogen district, Independent Barley & Malt will save 41 percent on its energy bill compared to if the company had to buy energy off the grid, according to Cooper.

“The economies of scale dictate that we have to move large volumes in and out of the plant in order to be able to meet the current price points for bulk malts going into Michigan brewers,” he said.

In addition to the energy cost advantage, Independent Barley & Malt will be able to deliver freight savings to in-state operations that can take bulk malt shipments, thanks to the state’s high gross vehicle weight limit. Any other bulk malt shipments would have to come from out-of-state, where the weight limit generally follows the federal standard, which is about half of the tonnage allowed in Michigan.

Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, describes Independent Barley & Malt’s plans as a “game-changer” for the state’s brewery supply chain. Although a handful of small malt houses have set up shop around the state and worked with farmers to develop the industry, a project of this size brings much needed scale, he said.

“Barley and malting are looking to re-emerge as an industry. There’s been good interest on the part of farmers, good work by the MSU Extension, but there’s an issue if a bunch of farmers grow it and they don’t have a market for it,” Graham said. “If we can see malting barley develop as a viable crop in Michigan, that’s a significant development. (Independent Barley & Malt is) going to require enough barley to make it a more interesting proposition for more farmers.”

OFFERING ADVANTAGES

Independent Barley & Malt will source all of its grain supply from Maumee, Ohio-based The Andersons Inc. (Nasdaq: ANDE), a diversified agribusiness focused on grains, plant nutrients, ethanol and rail.

To start, the maltster plans to source “a majority of the product” from Canada “for economics and quality” reasons, Cooper said. The company will use marine transport to move the grain from Thunder Bay, Ontario to the Port of Toledo, where The Andersons operates a grain terminal. The maltster also has leased space at The Andersons’ grain elevator 15 miles south of the malt house in Reading, Mich. to use for bulk barley storage.

“Not all barleys can make great malts. For world class malt, we need an all of the above (approach),” Cooper said of the company’s sourcing decisions, noting it eventually hopes to find ways to work with farmers in the Great Lakes region. “We also have a plan to implement an agronomy program where we can grow both a winter barley in the southern half of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and hopefully a spring barley in the north.”

The Litchfield project also includes plans for a “batch plant” where the company could work directly with brewers of all sizes to develop their own proprietary custom malts, focused on various flavors, colors, brewing properties or the origin of the grain, Cooper said.

“Instead of differentiating with hops or other adjunct additives like fruits or spruce tips, we encourage brewers to differentiate with their own malt,” he said. “All brewers are blending the same 50 varieties of malt from a small amount of global suppliers. … We’re asking folks to come to our plant and work through sensory to bring out and deliver exactly what folks are looking for.”

Cooper declined to comment on ongoing discussions with breweries and distilleries to source malt from his company, but hinted that Independent Barley & Malt had deals in the works.

“You couldn’t complete financing without having a certain amount of commitments,” he said.

Michigan-based brewery owners who spoke on background with MiBiz say they’d consider buying malt from a new source. However, executives at small producers noted that malt pricing is not a major factor in their sourcing decisions since their cost of goods remains minimal, even though they buy at a small scale. Instead, they’d gladly pay more for unique products, such as a quality, all-Michigan malt.

AN INDUSTRY IN FLUX

The undisclosed Independent Barley & Malt investment comes amid an inflection point in the craft beverage industry and its supply chain.

Nationally, craft beer garnered a 12.7-percent volume share of the beer market and accounted for 23.4 percent of retail dollars in 2017, according to the Brewers Association, which only tracks data for small and independent breweries. At midyear, the $26 billion craft beer industry grew by 5 percent, marking a continued plateau in sales growth.

More companies also are fighting for a piece of the industry. The Brewers Association estimates 6,655 breweries were active as of June 30, up nearly 1,100 from the same time a year ago. Another 2,500 to 3,000 remain in the planning stages, according to the trade group.

Additionally, the malt industry supply chain could soon face changes as a major supplier looks to exit its business. Last month, Bloomberg reported that Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill Inc. was considering selling off “part or all” of its global malting operation. The report cited sources that put the value of the transaction at more than $1 billion.

Coincidentally, The Andersons — which will supply Independent Barley & Malt — in September appointed former Cargill exec Pat Bowe as its new CEO. Bowe most recently served as the corporate vice president for Cargill’s food ingredients and systems platform.

For his part, Cooper believes Independent Barley & Malt will gain traction among brewers in Michigan and beyond because the company’s products will be able to compete on price and quality.

“I come from the fuel business. (Being) ratable is the ability to deliver on volume, on-spec, every time, all the time. That’s the consistency that the large brewers expect and demand,” Cooper said.  “It’s going to take almost two years to build this plant. We’re going to be able to showcase the fact that we’re taking a massive investment risk to build this plant.”

Michigan Hub, LLC Revives Litchfield Site with Clean Power Solution

Investment to craft the future of local power, attracting additional tenants and saving businesses dollars

Litchfield, MI – Michigan Hub, LLC broke ground today on its clean power generating facility at the site of the former Endicott coal-fired power plant, 720 Herring Rd, Litchfield, MI, in the Litchfield Industrial Park.

According to company Chief Executive Officer Glenn Foy, “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.”

“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.”

Michigan Hub’s first tenant will be Independent Barley & Malt, Inc. (IB&M), a commercial-scale producer of malted barley and grains for craft brewers and distillers in the Great Lakes region. IB&M will be the largest malt house in Michigan and the largest east of Milwaukee, producing 50,000 tons of malted grains each year.

To complete Phase 1 of the Michigan Hub project, over $100 million will be invested at the 42-acre site, creating approximately 75 jobs–equivalent to the number previously working at the former Endicott Power Plant.

According to IB&M Chief Executive Officer, Michael Cooper, “Independent Barley & Malt’s operation is energy intense. 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.”

Foy also indicated that the City of Litchfield and the Litchfield Tax Increment Finance Authority have been instrumental in Michigan Hub moving forward with its development on such a broad scale. Litchfield City Manager Doug Terry commented: “The renewal of the old power plant to one that is clean and uses state-of-the-art technology validates our work. Michigan Hub and Independent Barley & 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 at 720 Herring Road from Michigan South Central Utility Resource Solutions (formerly Michigan South Central Power Agency) on September 30, 2016, and is scheduled to complete full demolition by the end of October. Michigan Hub’s combined heat and power plant is modular in design with the last module scheduled to be installed by mid-2022. Michigan Hub expects to have 176 MW of power generating capacity–150 MW to meet the needs of Michigan municipal utilities to comply with State Act 341, which mandates sourcing local electrical capacity, and 26 MW for its industrial tenants.

IB&M Sponsors KBS Desserts with Discussion Event

Desserts with Discussion: The Comeback of Spartan Barley

for the Michigan Brewing Industry

Barley, combined with hops, yeast and water, it is one of the four essential components of almost any beer. Currently, most barley grown in Michigan originates in North Dakota and central Canada, regions with different climatic and environmental conditions. That is until now.

In a world that is focused on local and sustainable crops, Spartan Barley is a winning heirloom variety for Michigan.  From a 5 gram sample that was saved in a seed bank Dr. Russ Freed and colleagues have been able to grow enough Spartan Barley to put it into production on a small scale.  With Dr. Dean Baas’ help the first crop was planted and harvested on the Kellogg Farm here at Kellogg Biological Station in 2016.

Dr. Russ Freed (Retired MSU Prof. CANR Dept. of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences) and Dr. Dean Baas (MSU Extension Sustainable Agriculture Educator) will share:

  • How the 1916 Spartan Barley was brought back to life in 2016
  • Why barley is a good fit for Michigan, and some of the challenges for the barley comeback
  • Current research projects on both winter and spring barley including variety and management trial

https://mediaspace.msu.edu/media/The+Comeback+of+Spartan+Barley+for+the+Michigan+Brewing+Industry/1_mdozeiay

IB&M Planting the Seed in Litchfield, MI

A winter barley test plot, supplied by major seed company used for demonstration was planted September, 2018 in Litchfield, Michigan.

We partnered with KBS and other local farmers to help choose varieties, and our goal is to test a couple different varieties.

IB&M Sponsors ALL KBS 2018 Field Days

The Michigan State University malting barley research program is excited to showcase the research underway for the 2018 crop season. The MSU Malting Barley Field Day in Hickory Corners starts at 8 a.m. with registration and refreshments, followed by an educational program featuring MSU researchers, representatives from the barley seed industry and a tour of the research plots. Station manager and barley researcher Book Wilke will share his experiences with growing malting barley and his project underway for double-cropping opportunities. The field day will conclude with a free networking lunch.

The following research projects will be on display and results from the 2017 trials will be shared.

  • Eastern Spring Barley Nursery: 28 spring malting barley varieties tested for agronomic and malt quality performance.
  • Winter Malting Barley Trial: 27 winter malting barley varieties tested for agronomic and malt quality performance.
  • Winter Malting Barley Management Trials: Various management treatments are explored in this research, including fertility and fungicide.

Two other field day opportunities are scheduled and can be registered for at the MSU

Malting Barley Field Day page.

  • Luckhardt Field Day, June 19, 6-8 p.m., Saline, Michigan
  • Thumb Field Day, June 25, 5-7 p.m., Kawkawlin, Michigan