Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney congratulated Lapeer-based Grid Logic on its $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a low-cost superconducting wire for use by electric utilities.
“This news really captures what is special about Michigan—we discover things, we make things, and we make things work,” Finney said. “Very few places in the world can match our manufacturing leadership, R&D capabilities, and high-tech talent. These strengths make us a great location for innovators like Grid Logic to develop and commercialize cutting-edge technologies.”
It is one 66 projects getting a share of $130 million in competitive OPEN 2012 funding through the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy. Grants are awarded to transformational, breakthrough technologies that show fundamental technical promise but are too early for private-sector investment.
Grid Logic will develop the wire for electric utility applications. Using a new manufacturing technique, the company will embed very fine superconducting particles in a combination of metals to induce superconductivity. The wire would reduce the cost of transmission lines, motors for wind turbines, and other electric devices. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the technology has the potential to produce game-changing breakthroughs in energy technology.
The company’s story is a great example of economic gardening in action. In 2011, it expanded out of a 770-square-foot lab housed in a small barn in Metamora Twp. into a 92,500- square-foot, state-of-art facility in Lapeer. Prior federal and state support for the company’s ground-breaking research and growth includes $6.5 million in loans and grants from the state’s Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing program and a $3 million grant from the MEDC Centers of Energy Excellence program.
Grid Logic designs and manufactures devices for electric utilities and industrial companies that enable the next generation electric utility grid. Its Intelligent Grid Devices stabilize the grid, protect against harmful current surges and make the use of higher efficiency infrastructure and alternative energy sources possible.