In the face of constraints such as the built environment, movement of people, and urban traffic flow, Circuit West has shown the true spirit of innovation.  A project of Consumers Energy in partnership with Rockford Construction and the City of Grand Rapids, the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan is proud to present Circuit West with the 2019 Innovative Project Award. Circuit West is a glimpse at the future of the generation and distribution of electricity and a demonstration of success to other cities.

Within the past year, these partners have seen to the construction and operation of a 1,800-panel rooftop solar array in combination with a half-megawatt battery storage system. The systems work in tandem to ensure energy efficiency along with a positive customer experience. In this way, energy is generated on-site in the most effective way possible. These technologies were designed to support one another in their functions, and Circuit West has seen great success in this process. In their innovative process, they asked, “how might we work to benefit, or even rethink the energy grid?” Questions like these spark creative processes, of which Circuit West has no shortage.

In addition to the dual-energy system, Circuit West has made several system updates, many of which are underground, in order to enhance the customer experience while benefiting the environment to the greatest extent possible. Not only did the underground construction solve the issue of aesthetics, but it also gave Circuit West the opportunity to showcase the automation of the system. Seventy-four minutes of power outage time has been avoided, compared to the system average, due to the system innovations made by Circuit West. The automation of the underground workings benefits the employees of Consumers Energy, as well as the customer.

The credo of Consumers Energy is: “Leave it better than you found it”. This attitude is easily found in every endeavor of Circuit West. Each project aims to improve upon an idea, all while providing the best possible experience to the customer. At the heart of innovation lies the will to make the lives of people better; Circuit West takes this a step further. Overall, Circuit West exemplifies a truly innovative project in the face of obstacles, and it is their ability to prioritize the needs of customers while working to benefit the environment that makes their work admirable.

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