NYSERDA Announces First 76West Grand Prize Winner, Micatu, Signs Supply Agreement for its Next-Generation Optic Sensors to Increase Grid Efficiency

Manufacturing and Operations Remain in the Southern Tier

May 07, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today that Micatu, the 2016 Grand Prize winner of the State’s 76West Clean Energy Competition, has signed an agreement to supply its unique grid technology to Eaton Corporation, a leading global power management company. Launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2016, the 76West Clean Energy Competition is one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean energy businesses and economic development.

Micatu will continue to manufacture the technology at its facility in the Southern Tier. Today’s announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “The 76West Clean Energy Competition focuses on helping startup companies succeed while bringing economic development to the Southern Tier. This is a tremendous achievement for Micatu that will help foster continued economic development and job opportunities to support the Southern Tier’s clean energy ecosystem that is thriving under Governor Cuomo’s visionary leadership.”

Micatu makes an optical sensor that provides real-time highly accurate voltage and current readings so utilities can reduce energy use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since winning the first 76West competition in 2016, the company has established, and is maintaining its primary manufacturing facility in the Southern Tier and has purchased goods and services from local vendors totaling more than $1 million. In addition, the growing company has already hired at least six people since winning 76West and anticipates adding more to its workforce in the future.

The Micatu sensing technology will be used by Eaton to expand its smart grid portfolio to help global utilities access highly accurate data to advance intelligent power programs and enable smart grid modernization. Micatu’s agreement with Eaton further provides Micatu with a global distribution channel to assist international utility customers enhance voltage and current sensing precision to improve grid monitoring.

Michael Oshetski, Chief Executive Officer, Micatu, said, “This agreement with Eaton will enable Micatu to increase production while helping utilities reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Micatu is eager to expand its operations and is following through on its vision of building out a sustainable high-tech workforce in the Southern Tier.”

The 76West Clean Energy Competition, currently in its third year, is a $20 million competition and support program administered by NYSERDA that started in 2016 and will run through 2019. Each year applicants compete for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, 76West will provide $10 million in awards and $10 million for business support, marketing and administration through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.

As a condition of the award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier, such as a supply chain relationship or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that create jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.

Micatu was the competition’s first $1 million grand prize winner in 2016.

In addition to 76West, the Southern Tier is also home to the state’s newest clean energy incubator, located in downtown Binghamton. The Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator, which provides space, technical support and assistance for 76West winners and other clean technology companies, is being managed by Binghamton University and located in downtown Binghamton, in the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator building.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The state has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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