Inside the plans for Grand Rapids’ ‘Circuit West’


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — “Circuit West” is coming to Grand Rapids’ West Side.

The new energy district will span 10 blocks between Stocking Avenue, Turner Avenue, Second Street and Bridge Street NW.

Rockford Construction is teaming up with Consumers Energy for the urban project, which will test and roll out sustainable and renewable energy for businesses and residents in that area.

“When we came to the West Side and started thinking about the opportunities, we wanted to take it to the next generation,” said Rockford Construction CEO Mike VanGessel.

Developers say Circuit West will create a first-of-its-kind energy efficient, green community using solar energy and batteries to produce and store power. The development will also have electric vehicle charging stations and more bandwidth for communications and internet, they say.

Rockford Construction and Consumers Energy say the benefits will be two-fold: lower energy bills and fewer and shorter power outages.

“Because we have the opportunity to produce power right here, you know the localized aspect of it allows us to really bring less expensive power into the neighborhood. You’re also going to have more predictable power, because this is a redundant system in effect with the solar energy, with the battery system that we’re going to create here. So, if there is an outage, our area is going to be more predictable,” said VanGessel.

Circuit West will encompass the Bridge Street Market, where Meijer is building a store. Apartments and office buildings slated for the area will also be part of Circuit West.

If Circuit West is a success, Rockford Construction and Consumers Energy hope to expand the model to other areas in West Michigan.

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