This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 20, 2002

Michigan's NextEnergy Center Site Earns Tax-Free Designation

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced on November 14th that the future site of Michigan's NextEnergy Center has been designated a tax-free zone. This so-called "NextEnergy Zone" is located at the Wayne State University Research and Technology Park in Detroit and will be the location for the 40,000-square-foot NextEnergy Center. The center will be the catalyst for alternative energy development in the state and will include laboratory facilities, business incubator space, collaborative meeting space, and other facilities. Alternative energy companies located in the new NextEnergy Zone will enjoy tax-free status for 20 years. See the NextEnergy announcement.

As mentioned in a story in the November 14th edition of EREN Network News, the authorizing legislation for the NextEnergy Zone was approved by Governor John Engler in mid-October. Although the plans for the NextEnergy Zone remain sketchy, DTE Energy announced in late September that it will work with DOE to build a hydrogen power park, likely located within the Zone. Hydrogen will be generated primarily from renewable energy sources, stored, and then used to power a 50-kilowatt fuel cell and a 25-kilowatt Stirling engine or reciprocating engine. A microgrid system will serve the Zone with electricity from the hydrogen power park and other distributed energy sources. DTE Energy hopes to install about 600 kilowatts of generating capacity within the Zone in 2003, with additional generation added in the following three to four years. This will eventually allow the conventional power grid to serve as merely a backup power system for the Zone's microgrid. See the DTE Energy press release.