Hillside Manufacturer Ventures with Battery Company

Dynamic manufacturing newest facility

Hillside-based Dynamic Manufacturing and Global Battery Solutions in Holland, Michigan recently signed a “strategic alliance agreement” to function as one company in battery re-manufacturing. Under undisclosed terms the Hillside company took a significant share position in the Holland battery company. The alliance creates the auto-industry’s largest electric vehicle battery remanufacturing provider.

“The merged entity, branded as Dynamic GBS, was forged to address a growing demand for battery lifecycle management as automotive manufacturers continue to electrify their product offerings.” ~ GRBJ

See the complete story Here

Business leaders address carbon emissions concerns – Global Battery Solutions

GRBJ – Article written by Ehren Wynder

More than 500 business leaders, investors and other professionals, including eight from Michigan, recently signed a letter sent to every member of the 116th Congress imploring lawmakers to “take immediate and ambitious action” to address the economic threats made clear in the Trump administration’s Fourth National Climate Assessment.

The letter was organized by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national nonpartisan group of business professionals from a variety of sectors who advocate for economically and environmentally sound policies.

“As business leaders and investors who live, work and do business in every part of the country, we demand that Congress heed this report … and act rapidly to reduce carbon emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change, including passing legislation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the deployment of clean energy technologies and better prepare our nation’s infrastructure for the impacts of climate change that are growing daily,” the letter read.

According to the Fourth NCA, rising temperatures, climbing sea levels and changes in extreme events are expected to increasingly disrupt and damage not only ecosystems but also critical infrastructure and property, labor productivity and the vitality of communities.

Regional economies and industries that depend on natural resources and favorable climate conditions, like agriculture, tourism and fisheries, are particularly vulnerable to the growing impacts of climate change.

The assessment further noted rising temperatures are projected to reduce the efficiency of power generation while increasing energy demands, resulting in higher electricity costs. 

But E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe is optimistic because he noted the business sector is starting to recognize the economic impacts of climate change.

“We already have the environmental impacts,” Keefe said. “That part is clear and undisputed for everybody except the guy in the White House, perhaps.”

For Michigan’s economy specifically, which relies heavily on agriculture and tourism, climate change comes with the cost of excessive flooding in the Upper Peninsula and drought hurting farms and forestry.

“There’s a cost to infrastructure, when extreme weather causes roads to buckle, when bridges get washed out,” Keefe said. “If we don’t act more quickly, it’s going to cost our country somewhere close to the tune of $500 billion, bigger than the Great Recession.”

Keefe also said the automotive industry is a huge factor, not just in Michigan where auto is king, but also for the rest of the country. Because of several factors, including major utilities closing their coal plants for more efficient grid alternatives, like the Business Journal reported Consumers Energy is doing, auto emissions now are the largest source of CO2 emissions in the country.

“The good news is car makers, I believe, are now starting to realize this,” Keefe said. “(Electric vehicle) sales were up substantially last year, and it’s been a long time coming. Every car maker in Michigan now has EV models.”

In Holland, Global Battery Solutions fights its own battle for sustainability by repairing and recycling lithium-ion batteries, like those found in EVs, thereby extending the life and revenue stream of a single battery and keeping it out of a landfill.

Ellington Ellis is the co-founder of Global Battery Solutions and one of the 500 business leaders across the county who signed the letter to Congress. He argued the business community as a whole has a responsibility to drive the environmental issue, especially as it relates to educating the populace on sustainable jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Personally, Ellis said he would like to see a specific government mandate to track the flow of lithium-ion batteries. Global Battery Solutions helps monitor the revenue streams of batteries by implementing tracking technology in all of its own batteries.

“Right now, if a battery comes out of a Tesla or a Chevy Volt, there’s no real accountability around those batteries,” Ellis said. “They have tons and tons of batteries just sitting on the side of the road.”

“It’s pennies on the dollar to put that (technology in),” he added. “If the government put in a policy where battery manufacturers would have to have that technology in their batteries, it would ultimately cut down on carbon emissions.”

Mark Lee, who also signed the letter to Congress, is the founder of Better World Builders in Kalamazoo. His company centers on “building a better world” by eliminating energy waste from homes and businesses.

“The world’s not going to clean up itself,” Lee said. “We need people, companies and our government to help push us in the direction of making the world a cleaner place for future generations.”

Better World Builders provides building inspections and testing, air sealing, ventilation control, insulation replacement, lead and asbestos abatement, solar installation and more.

While Better World focuses on having a house that is safe to live in, is comfortable and has a high durability, Lee added the economic benefits amount to an average 30 percent reduction in home energy bills, and some have been as high as 70 percent.

“If you test the house and look at it correctly, you don’t just try to cover up the old insulation with new insulation,” Lee said. “It’s not only easier to breathe better, but it lowers your energy bill.”

Lee estimated every four houses Better World makes more efficient equals one house with a “net zero” energy usage, putting less strain on the grid.

“We’re burning through a lot of natural gas, propane and a lot of electricity for air conditioning,” he said. “That wasted energy translates into something no one gets to enjoy.”

With the arrival of a new Congressional House, Lee said he hopes the new members will be more attentive to environmental issues. Part of the reason many new members were elected was because they were clear on their intent to represent their constituents’ desires, which include a healthy economy that mirrors a healthy environment, Lee said.

But Lee said he also believes being environmentally and economically sound doesn’t have to be a partisan issue, pointing to the Governor’s Energy Excellence Award, started in 2015 by former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Energy Excellence Award recognizes Michigan organizations and individuals for their commitment to energy efficiency.

“I think it’s a great program that we should be promoting — having that as a rally cry to help us focus and build employment,” Lee said.

Although Better World is a small company with about 20 employees, Lee said there are roughly 3.2 million Americans employed in the clean energy sector, whether they’re putting up solar panels, wind turbines or doing what his employees are doing by increasing the efficiency and value of homes and businesses.

“These jobs are really important for our housing stock but also for our environment when you look at the big picture,” Lee said.

One Big Step for Mankind ~ Energy Storage Ruling


With the passing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) order 841, it was one small step for energy storage, and one big leap for renewables. Regulators seek to remove barriers to electric grid storage.

According to a recent article in Electric Light and Power, “As the demand for renewable energy increases, and the patterns for supply and demand change, smart digital substations are beginning to be implemented. Electricity transmission and distribution network operators are preparing to equip power substations with digital control and communication carried by fiber optic networks. This will allow faster communication, enhanced safety and more.
It’s important while implementing digital primary and secondary substation equipment to consider the essential role of the backup battery.
Battery systems can be found in every substation and can provide minutes to hours of backup power during a power outage. They can provide power for switchgear to change the configuration of the network, help isolate lines and clear faults before power can be restored safely. They also can power communication and control equipment, which is fast becoming more important in smart digital substations.
By adopting a battery technology that is compatible with digital control and communication, operators can better integrate their essential backup.” ~ www.elp.com

Read the FERC order here.


Written by Laurie Ouding for Bronzeville Energy Collaborative

On May 24th bill HB 3418 passed in the senate and is now awaiting Governor Rauner’s signature, bringing applause from environmental advocates as it is a positive step in the right direction for urban farmers and local food businesses.
To help local governments expand access to urban farming and local food, HB
3418 :

-Allows local governments to create urban agricultural areas, where
beginning, socially- and economically-disadvantaged farmers are operating
urban farms;

-Allows local governments to abate property taxes on urban agricultural
areas; -Allows local governments to reduce water and utilities fees and rates to
rate payers in urban agricultural areas 
- Allows local governments to use TIF revenues to offset the costs of
providing incentives to urban agricultural areas.

The following statement was issued by Laura Calvert, Advocates for Urban
Agriculture Executive Director:
“We commend the Illinois legislature and in particular Rep. Sonya Harper
for lowering barriers to starting and operating urban farm businesses. This
bill will further stimulate our local food system by growing businesses,
jobs, produce, and our economy.”

Representative Sonya Harper and Senator Mattie Hunter provided support for this bill and many other projects and programs, as well as supporting the people who also work tirelessly in advancing progress in urban farming, sustainable food systems and equitable access to healthy food.
The urban agriculture and food business communities are thriving and continuing to grow in Chicago, in part due to political support and organizations like Advocates for Urban Agriculture who rally for these causes and create collaborative relationships throughout Chicagoland.

The future of Chicago is looking greener by the day.

Global Battery Solutions Meets IBEW/NECA


On May 22, 2018 Global Battery Solutions was invited to tour and present its company to the IBEW/NCEA Technical Institute officials and members.

The facility provides hands-on experience that encompasses all aspects of renewable energy, from wind to solar, electric vehicle charging, battery storage, and a variety of techniques for managing and exchanging power with the electrical utility grid.

The Bronzeville Energy Collaborative salutes Local 134/IBEW for “stepping forward into the future of Green Energy and Technology”

Written by Ellington Ellis; Co-founder and managing partner of Global Battery Solutions.

“Thanks for attending the Global Battery Solutions presentation, discussion and tour of the IBEW/NECA Technical Institute in Alsip, Illinois yesterday.”

~John Bzdawka; International Representative/Business Development

Please see the Video below highlighting IBEW.


Sustainability and food systems-what do they have to do with each other?

Written for Bronzeville.us by food sustainability author Laurie Ouding, RN

In looking at the industrialized food systems and their evolution over their years, one might think that we have made a lot of progress for the better. The reality is, that it has become a corporate owned, globally damaging monstrosity that has not only impacted the planet detrimentally, but has also caused an increase in nutritionally related diseases from eating processed foods, traveling thousands of miles to get to consumers.
Industrialized food practices have been more concerned about economic growth then the impact on the environment, resulting in long term damage to our air, land and water systems. An increased use of chemical pesticides over the last half century in conjunction with industrialized agricultural practices and genetically modified crops have damaged the air and water supplies along with creating pesticide resistant weeds and insects, thus creating a greater need for more and different pesticides-a vicious cycle damaging our ecosystem. Industrialized livestock farming, where animals are kept in confined areas, create particle pollution with methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide gas going out into the atmosphere. Agriculture affects climate change and climate change affects agriculture.
In creating these large food systems, we have introduced more processed foods, prepackaged and convenience type foods to consumers, making up 51% of what consumers are purchasing either at the grocery store or online. The impact these processed, “convenience” foods have on our health over time is evident by the increase in diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, chronic constipation, gastrointestinal illnesses, heart disease, etc over the last 20 years as these have become more accessible. Overall, we are getting more food than previous generations, but less nutrition, hence the increased health issues.
The highest rates of diabetes and obesity occur in neighborhoods where fresh food is inaccessible. What we eat and drink directly affects our health and yet there are places where culturally appropriate, healthy foods are not available in certain areas. This is evidenced by the existence of children who are obese, yet malnourished, which occurs when the quantity of food outweighs the quality of food eaten. A parent with minimal income may choose to have more of a cheaper food which is less healthy, than a smaller quantity of healthier food that costs more. Visit any typical corner store in a poor neighborhood and you will find a plethora of highly processed, sugar laden, fat filled products with nary a fresh fruit or vegetable in sight.
The solution to these problems are simpler than what you may think and requires us to go backwards in some ways. Meaning back to a time when food was grown and purchased locally, people cooked what they purchased and ate together. Growing your own food may seem simplistic and difficult in some areas/climates but prior to the industrialized food system development, it is how people fed their families, lived healthier lives and thrived. It is not only possible, it is necessary to improve health outcomes and for the benefit of our planet.
From an urban standpoint, we need to create more farmer’s markets, community food growing areas, and grocery stores in all neighborhoods, which is essential for healthy food access. However, access alone is not the answer-we must also provide community outreach in the form of nutrition education and cooking classes, which needs to be culturally appropriate to promote behaviors leading to improved health outcomes. Nutrition education needs to begin at birth-for the parents and then continually for the child as they grow. This needs to occur as part of every school curriculum’s STEM programming along with agriculture, the food cycle, food systems, etc.
Every physician graduating from medical school takes the Hippocratic oath “ First do no harm”. Another, more relevant quote from Hippocrates “Let thy food be thy medicine, thy medicine be thy food”. We can either continue to poison our earth and ourselves, or we can “revolutionize” our food system by getting back to the basics of growing our own food, knowing where it comes from and breaking bread together as a family, as a community.

Biomimicry in Action – “this is innovation inspired by nature”


Copyright © 2018 TreeHugger.com

Melissa Breyer highlights in her Treehugger article, that researchers at Scientific America believe that “understanding the adhesive properties of frog feet could lead to better tire design, and perhaps even a nonslip shoe. Thanks, frogs!”

Biomimicry (Bio-Mimic-Ree). At its elementary level biomimicry looks at the structure of organic matter and determines how it functions. Humans then replicate this structure to create sustainable technology products. ~ Ellington Ellis



Read the full story here




Batteries from Electrical Vehicles to be reused in utility grids, business and homes in Bronzeville

Tesla is not the only “Powerwall” in Town.

ECM working in conjunction with the Bronzeville Energy Collaborative, Grand Valley State University, Global Battery Solutions (GBS), Navitas Advanced Solutions Group, and with the support of a Department of Transportation Grant, intends to create an epicenter of “Energy Storage Products” utilizing repurposed batteries from Electric Vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries are high performance energy storage devices, whose use will continue to expand with the electrification of the global passenger and commercial vehicle fleets. A fundamental question is what to do with such batteries after their performance has degraded to the point where they are no longer capable of servicing their original vehicular applications. A used vehicle battery may still be able to store 75% of the original energy content, and able to charge and discharge at 50% of the original rate. As such, a used battery potentially retains both economic and practical use that can be utilized or reclaimed through repurposing activities.

GBS will utilize scalable battery modules described above, a scalable packaging strategy, and a scalable BMS design and manufacturing process are the missing links necessary to establish a robust repurposed and second-life lithium-ion battery supply chain. The modular and scalable approach will also allow GBS to serve markets outside of the transportation industry improving economies of scale. Reduction of development costs will significantly alter the return on investment models and open new markets for refurbished lithium batteries.

Tesla Powerwall

GBS has established a sustainable supply of end-of-first-life lithium ion batteries and developed a process that qualifies battery cells for a second life applications. Navitas Advanced Solutions Group is a leading developer of turn-key lithium-ion battery systems and currently serves customers in government, military, and commercial market sectors around the world. The project team’s combined knowledge and capabilities provide all the necessary components to establish a turnkey operation capable of repurposing lithium ion batteries into second life energy storage products.

The Link below gives a background on the foundation of the proposed Bronzeville Energy Storage Model. Ellington Ellis of GBS participated in the NYSERDA Study:

“The work described in the Mineta report was sponsored by the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium and the U.S. DOT Research Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) with matching funds provided by Grand Valley State University (GVSU). This sponsorship is gratefully acknowledged.

Sybesma’s Electronics of Holland, Michigan, participated as a full partner. This work would not have been possible without the support and personal involvement of Hank Sybesma, President of Sybesma’s Electronics. MNRTC Report ~ 2014

-Bronzeveille Energy Collaborative

ENGIE North America has this week announced the acquisition of Chicago based SoCore

FedEx-Hagerstown-MD-SoCoreEngie North America is on a buying spree, and their most recent stop was Chicago. Early this year the mammoth French clean energy company purchased UK based Connected Energy, California based GreenCharge, and Infinity Renewables.  Engie, now, this week, has acquired Chicago based SoCore.

The Bronzeville Micro-grid is shining a little brighter, and the Illinois Commerce Commission’s (ICC) decision, to allow ComED’s Bronzeville Micro-grid, is appearing a little smarter.

Read the full Engie North America story here.   By Joshua S. Hill