MAREC Welcomes Renewable Energy Entrepreneur: Michigan PACE Energy Program

Date: May 13, 2011

Logo for Michigan PACE Energy Program, L3C.A company ready to help Michigan municipal and business executives make use of a Michigan law that facilitates renewable energy financing is the newest tenant in Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC).

Michigan PACE Energy Program, L3C has signed an agreement with Grand Valley for use of business development space at MAREC.  A business start-up founded by Gregory Truex, CPA, Michigan PACE Energy Program (MPEP) will provide technical, educational and training services to assist Michigan municipalities, developers, and financial institutions in renewable energy finance using Michigan’s recently enacted PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) legislation.  

It is also MAREC’s first “L3C” corporation, a new legal hybrid of a for-profit and nonprofit created for streamlined operation.  L3Cs are low-profit limited liability corporations; they are operated and taxed just like the more common limited liability corporations (LLCs), but profits must be secondary to achieving a charitable or educational goal.

“Renewable energy is no longer just about manufacturing products like solar cells and electric vehicle batteries.  Renewable energy also offers important opportunities in the service sector, and the launching of Michigan PACE Energy Program is a sign of things to come,” notes Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC.  “As the first L3C at MAREC, the company also will be a pioneer in using its business structure to ‘do well by doing good.’”

Michigan is one of 25 states, including Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia which have adopted PACE legislation. Passed in December, 2010, Michigan’s PACE law allows energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to use the traditional land-secured financing mechanism that for 100 years has financed improvements like sidewalks, sanitation systems, public parks and water works.

This new strategy reduces two critical barriers to energy improvements.  The law’s finance options reduce the generally high upfront costs of renewable technologies.  The law also minimizes the property owner’s energy investment risk because the obligation to pay back the financing will now transfer with the property, and not remain as an obligation for the original owner.

Gregory Truex, president, Michigan PACE Energy Program, L3C.“The PACE laws have lowered the barriers that have discouraged municipalities and developers from including and financing renewable technology in their projects.  However, the law is little known by decision-makers whose organizations could benefit.  Our company’s goal is to change that.  We will promote awareness, educate, and train municipalities in preparing for PACE, and we’ll provide expert analysis, accounting and monitoring to comply with the law,” said Greg Truex, president of MPEP.  

In addition to offering online presentations about PACE to Michigan municipal and business leaders, one of MPEP’s immediate goals is to provide a public centralized registry of developers and installers who are prepared to make use of Michigan’s PACE law for appropriate projects.

As president of MPEP, Gregory Truex has 26 years of experience as a technology entrepreneur and financial institution executive.    He has served as the top financial executive at Holland bank and a credit union, and created several start-ups providing online applications for business management as well as legal and regulatory compliance in the financial industry.   He is also co-founder of TruAssurance, Inc., a risk and regulatory consulting firm, and the owner of Huron Shores Wind Technologies, Inc., an alternative energy development and consultancy in Chicago, IL.

MPEP becomes the fifth current incubator tenant at MAREC and joins McKenzie Bay International Ltd., Energy Partners, LLC, Logical Lighting, Co. and Smart Vision Light.



For more information contact Gregory Truex, president of MPEP at (616) 929-7121 or e-mail:  gtruex@michpace.org 

For information about MAREC, visit www.gvsu.edu/marec or contact marecinfo@gvsu.edu.

For a printable PDF of this news release, click here.

Also published on GVNow.

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