Circuit West: An Energized Community | Rockford Construction
By 
Mike VanGessel 

Circuit West: An Energized Community

As builders, Rockford Construction is acutely aware of the impact our buildings make on the environment. Buildings, and the construction process, are significant users of energy, and major contributors to carbon emissions. It is incumbent upon us to continue to search for innovative solutions that will help us conserve energy for future generations.

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Rockford Construction - Circuit West - Solar

The Circuit West solar array positioned atop The Hendrik and Bridge Street Market features approximately 1,800 solar panels capable of producing up to 500 kilowatts of power every hour. Photo courtesy of Consumers Energy.

With these thoughts in mind, we partnered with Consumers Energy and the City of Grand Rapids to create Circuit West, a cutting-edge energy district on Grand Rapids’ West Side. Circuit West encompasses 13 blocks and features approximately 1,800 solar panels positioned atop The Hendrik and Bridge Street Market along with a 500-kilowatt battery storage system. The solar array can produce up to 500 kilowatts of power every hour — enough to power 100 typical Michigan homes. When combined with the storage capabilities of the battery, this results in fewer power outages, increased energy efficiency and overall enhanced reliability for the neighborhood. But more importantly, the project places sustainability at the heart of design, considering the long-term impacts of development on the community.

In January, Circuit West earned the 2019 Innovative Project Award from the U.S. Green Building Council’s West Michigan Chapter.

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Rockford Construction - Consumers Energy - Circuit West Award

The U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter recognized Circuit West with the 2019 Innovative Project Award. Photo courtesy of USGBCWM.

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“In the face of constraints such as the built environment, movement of people, and urban traffic flow, Circuit West has shown the true spirit of innovation. Circuit West is a glimpse at the future of the generation and distribution of electricity and a demonstration of success to other cities.”

U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter

At Rockford, we are incredibly proud of our work on Circuit West in conjunction with our project partners. But we also recognize that this important endeavor is only part of the much larger sustainability equation. As we continue to foster thriving communities, thoughtful approaches to the way energy is generated and consumed will remain a critical component of our efforts.

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