A partnership between a Spanish renewable energy research company and Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center will allow for more comprehensive wind energy research on the Great Lakes and a connection to Europe, which is more advanced in the area of wind energy development.
Pamplona, Spain-based CENER — Centro Nacional De Energias Renovables, which translates as National Renewable Energy Center — will work with the MAREC in Muskegon to research wind patterns in Lake Michigan that will lead to developing advanced mapping technology, something that has never been done on the Great Lakes.
The wind data mapping will provide new data about wind resources which will assist in evaluating the viability of developing an offshore wind industry on the Great Lakes. CENER will also help Grand Valley’s Padnos College of Engineering and Computing manage data collected from the offshore wind study.
“CENER has very deep knowledge in a number of technology and engineering areas relating to renewable energy, and wind in particular,” said Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC.
The partnership came about following an agreement in early 2010 by former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the governor of the Navarro region of Spain. The partnership was arranged by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Boezaart became aware of CENER’s interest after talking with colleagues at West Michigan Energy; a memorandum of understanding was recently signed to finalize the relationship.
Said Javier San-Miguel Armendariz, product manager for CENER: “We believe partnering with Grand Valley is an excellent opportunity to link efforts between U.S. and Europe in renewable energy technologies. The main goal of this partnership is to promote the knowledge sharing of the best experts in this field across the Atlantic Ocean.”