Starting Energy Companies in Michigan
In 2005 graduates of Western Michigan University launched mStation Audio LLC in Oshtemo Township to sell audio docking systems for Apple’s iPod. When the company acquired mophie inc. in 2006, it took that name, and transitioned to designing and manufacturing accessories for the iPhone. One of its products, the Juice Pack, is an auxiliary battery that attaches to the iPhone and retails for about $80, with over 1 million sold. Now headquartered in California to be near Apple, other company operations—distribution, quality control, tech support and customer service—are in Paw Paw, where it employs 30 people. It was recently awarded a $240,000 Michigan Business Development Program incentive.
Suburb Solar, Inc. started in 2010 near Manistique. Its flagship product is a portable solar generator on wheels. The EasySun 1500 has no moving parts, weighs 120 pounds, and has a handle for rolling on two wheels. Two 110V outlets and two 12V outlets provide power. It is configured so that a user can push a button and plug in an appliance. Equipped with a battery and a meter to show the state of battery charge, it can be operated even when there is no sun.
Renovo Power Systems LLC, based in Ann Arbor, develops and manufactures advanced digital grid tied inverters. Founded in 2008, it provides an inverter product line for solar, wind and hybrid systems. It has recently collaborated with Power Panel Inc. of Detroit on a solar thermal and solar PV project in Ypsilanti for Arbor Brewing Company.