November 10, 2009
Albany, NY — Four clean-energy technology companies supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) were selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide to present their business cases to investors and industry experts at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) prestigious Industry Growth Forum in Denver last week.
Ecovative Design, LLC, a Green Island-based company that has invented and now manufactures packing and insulation materials made from agricultural byproducts, like seed husks and mushroom roots, won the top award for Best Venture. Judges at the forum noted the company has the best chance of future success in a business that will bring more clean energy technology options into the mainstream energy market.
Other NYSERDA-supported companies selected to make presentations included Ioxus, Inc. from Oneonta, Ener-G-Rotors, Inc. from Schenectady and Beacon Power, Corp., a Tyngsboro, MA-based company that is continuing development of a major New York-based electric grid stabilization project. These four companies, which have received more than $3 million in commitments from NYSERDA, were among 34 companies chosen to make presentations from nearly 300 applicants worldwide.
"It is gratifying to see New York companies recognized on the national and international stage for the important work they are doing to make New York a leader in clean energy innovation,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “NYSERDA’s financial incentives to these companies and to so many others will help spur New York’s clean-energy economy while helping New York achieve the ambitious energy and environmental goals set by Governor David A. Paterson.
"NYSERDA is proud to have played an early role in each of these companies’ well-deserved recognition, and we look forward to even greater future success,” Murray said. “These companies show that innovation is alive and well in New York. Our intellectual capital represents one of our strongest economic resources.”
"The NREL Clean Energy Forum plants the seeds for future conversations and eventual business decisions that strengthen the clean energy industry," said L. Marty Murphy, Forum chairman and NREL’s manager of Enterprise Development. "Since 2003, presenting companies have raised more than $2.5 billion in investment."
Ecovative was established in 2007 to develop and manufacture a way of growing insulation and packing materials similar to Styrofoam ™ from natural organic substances rather than petroleum-based plastics. Ecovative has won international and national recognition, including $750,000 from the Dutch Postcode Lottery for a technology that would have the greatest impact on climate change, and grant funding from USEPA, USDA, National Science Foundation and New York’s Center for Economic Growth.
"Ecovative is proud to have been a part of the NREL forum and is especially thrilled that the judges felt that Ecovative’s unique technology and business strategy earned it this year’s Best Venture award. NYSERDA’s support has been crucial in helping Ecovative develop its core technology and we are excited to announce that our first commercial product enabled by this research, EcoCradle protective packaging, will begin shipment in early 2010 out of our Green Island facility," said Eben Bayer, CEO of Ecovative.
The three other NYSERDA-funded companies making presentations to the forum included:
- Ener-G-Rotors is a manufacturer of generating systems that turn low-temperature heat that is often wasted into electricity for use in a manufacturing process or for sale to the utility grid. “For the first time, our customers are able to economically extract value from 150F to 400F waste heat by converting that energy to electricity, saving both money and greenhouse gas emissions,” said CEO Michael F. Newell. NYSERDA has provided Ener-G-Rotors more than $500,000 to date to develop and test these systems.
- Ioxus, Inc. manufactures ultracapacitors, high-efficiency electronic energy storage devices that can lower the peak-power requirements and extend the life of fuel cells or batteries, and also may temporarily store energy from intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. NYSERDA is providing Ioxus up to $1.5 million in manufacturing business incentives. Michael Pentaris, CEO of Ioxus, Inc. said he “is committed to making Ioxus a leading company in the field of green energy products and revitalizing the upstate economy through the creation of jobs and we appreciate NYSERDA and the State of New York’s help in making this a reality.”
- Beacon Power Corp. is the designer and developer of flywheel energy-storage technology, which is used to enhance stability of the power grid. The system uses spinning flywheel rotors that store energy in order to maintain balance between the amount of energy generated and the amount consumed. Beacon demonstrated flywheels in a 2006 NYSERDA-funded small-scale project in Montgomery County, and is expected to break ground in the near future on a huge grid-size, 20 MW installation in Stephentown, eastern Rensselaer County. “We have worked closely with NYSERDA for several years, including a successful scale-power demonstration of flywheel frequency regulation, and they have been very supportive in helping us prove what our technology can do,” said Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO.
NREL's 2009 Clean Energy Industry Growth Forum attracted nearly 600 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers. Since 2003, more than $2.5 billion has been raised by companies presenting at the Forum.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) was established by law in 1975 as a public benefit corporation. NYSERDA provides energy-related technical and financial packaging assistance to businesses and institutions to promote energy efficiency and economic development, as well as providing energy research and development programs that promote safe and economical energy production efficiency technologies in New York State. NYSERDA also analyzes the effect of New York’s energy, regulatory and environmental policies on the State’s business, institutional, and residential energy consumers.
Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA
518-862-1090, ext 3544
Last Updated: 11/26/2012