Michigan Hub, LLC Revives Litchfield Site with Clean Power Solution

845 500 Independent Malt

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

150 150 Independent Malt

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

IB&M Planting the Seed in Litchfield, MI

150 150 Independent Malt

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

150 150 Independent Malt

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


IB&M Sponsors Great Lakes Hops & Barley Conference

150 150 Independent Malt

The conference will feature a track on hop as well as barley and malt for designed for both growers and brewers. Several prominent speakers from around the country will be on hand to discuss: horticultural practices, pest and disease control, harvest and post-harvest practices, nutrient management, and much more.

The conference will feature a pre-conference hop introductory track on Monday, March 12 and then focus on advanced hop production along with barley and malt topics on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13-14.

Beer Pairing Reception with Fred Bueltmann – There will also be a brewer/grower networking session that focuses on hop and malt barley quality. The networking session will provide growers with a better idea of quality requirements and help align the supply of Michigan grown hops and malt barley with brewer needs.

During the reception, enjoy the musical stylings of the Springtails. The Springtails are a charming Michigan-based husband-and-wife duo, Andy & Julianna Wilson. Mixing new with old vaudeville and swing-era standards, her lilting voice and snappy ukulele with his soulful harmonica and retro-sounding horn transport listeners back in time with songs that range from haunting ballads to playful swing. Mike Smalley on upright bass and Bob Bryan on drums and washboard complete the quartet version of the band.

Litchfield Office

IB&M Moves Offices to Litchfield, MI

845 500 Independent Malt
Litchfield Office

IB&M Receives Zoning Permit Approval and Certificate of Occupancy

845 500 Independent Malt

IB&M Sponsors KBS Field Day Event

1030 610 Independent Malt

Over 50 spring and winter varieties will be viewable at the event, and the agenda will include speakers from the seed industry and highlight MSU malting barley researcher, Dr. Brook Wilke. A tour of malting barley management trials will also be offered. 

  • 1
  • 2