Newly certified MAREC converts takes energy to market

Courtesy Photo /
Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center

Courtesy Photo / Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center

Chelsea Stoskopf

Newly armed with a certification from the state of Ohio, Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) is now one of the largest certified solar generators in Michigan.

Through a partnership with Midwest Solar Aggregation Group (MiSAG), a subsidiary of Sustainable Energy Financing (SEF), a business founded by GVSU entrepreneurs Kyle Denning and Dan Kuipers, MAREC was able to become certified and registered to generate solar power.

“There is an actual market which has developed within the past few years where if you can track the amount of renewable energy that you create and certify that in fact that you are truly generating energy using renewable devices, then you are assigned a certain amount of credit or Solar Renewable Energy Credits (S-REC’s),” said Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC. “They then have a market value that you can take to a commodities market that specializes in renewable energy, and those credits can be sold because there are companies and states in need of those credits.”

Boezaart said they received certification from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio because that state was interested in purchasing S-REC’s due to their public law, which requires that a certain amount of their energy comes from renewable energy sources and some in solar energy.

When MAREC generates solar energy through the solar panels on their roof they tell Ohio, which then will convert the energy into credits that can be sold on the market for monetary value.

MAREC has already sold two credits.

Kuipers said MiSAG helps clients like MAREC to gain certification as a generator of renewable energy so that they can have these credits created and sold.

“They (generally) just don’t know where to go with the information and how to actually progress through this whole process, and so we are able to do that entirely on behalf of the client, completely eliminate their workload and try to understand all of (this information),” he said. “Our job is to help reduce the cost of renewable energy technology because the cost of renewable energies is not competitive with traditional, coal or natural gas generating facilities, and the way to do that is through market-based incentive opportunities.”

Both MiSAG and MAREC will take part in the first annual Made in Michigan Renewable Energy Technology Show held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 21-23 by the MAREC center in Muskegon. The event will feature businesses related to the renewable energy fields, and Mark H. Clevey from the State of Michigan Bureau of Energy Systems (BES) will discuss how the BES supports renewable energy technologies and products in Michigan.

Boezaart said everyone is welcome especially those interested in installing some of these technologies and students who can become familiar with the technologies for their future as homeowners and business owners. There will be a small fee for the vendors showing their materials, which will then go to a science fair for high school and community college students this May.

“There is a lot of emphasis these days on rebuilding Michigan’s economy, and so it seemed like a good idea to give companies that already manufacture or build materials that relate to renewable energy – a chance to show-off their goods and showcase the fact that Michigan companies know how to make renewable energy materials,” he said.

For more information on MAREC, visit

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