Governor Cuomo Announces Winners of 76West Clean Energy Competition

Rochester-Based EkoStinger Named $1 Million Grand Prize Winner - Will Expand Business to the Southern Tier; Grow Southern Tier's Clean Energy Economy

September 25, 2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the six winning companies of the 76West Clean Energy Competition, one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean energy businesses and fostering economic development. Rochester-based EkoStinger, which manufactures under-trailer aerodynamic devices for tractor trailers that reduce emissions and save fuel, was named the $1 million grand prize winner and will expand its operations to the Southern Tier. The competition complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.

"The 76West Competition is attracting some of the most innovative entrepreneurs to the Southern Tier, spurring economic growth while advancing our State's clean energy economy," Governor Cuomo said. "Congratulations to EkoStinger and the rest of the 76West winners who are bringing jobs to this region and ensuring New York remains at the forefront of the fight against climate change."

A total of $2.5 million was awarded to six innovative companies. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners at an awards ceremony in downtown Binghamton today, joined by more than 100 elected officials, entrepreneurs and local business leaders. The event also named a $500,000 winner and four $250,000 winners. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority administers the competition.

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 supply chain, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that stimulate wealth creation and create jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.

"The 76West Competition is an example of creative economic development strategies spurring start-ups in the industries of the future," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We're incentivizing clean energy innovation to create more jobs and opportunities in the Southern Tier and throughout the state. Investing in renewable energy and other clean energy solutions also ensures a cleaner environment and stronger economy for future generations. Congratulations to all the 76West winners who are bringing their business and clean energy technologies to the area."

The 76West winners are:

$1 million grand prize winner

  • EkoStinger - Rochester, NY: Manufactures under-trailer aerodynamic devices for tractor trailers that reduce emissions and save fuel.

$500,000 award winner

  • Hub Controls - Dublin, Ireland: Creates smart energy products for the home that empower households to manage their utility bills.

$250,000 award winners

  • Connexus Controls - Albany, NY: Provides an internet-connected platform that enables heating and cooling contractors to increase energy efficiency by managing customer systems.
  • PassiveLogic - Holladay, UT: Enables buildings to be more energy efficient with its automated building control system.
  • Southern Tier Technologies - Endwell, NY: Creates energy optimization products to help customers reduce carbon emissions and reduce utility bill costs.
  • Switched Source - Detroit, MI: Produces distribution-scale power electronics that increase the penetration of renewable energy on the grid.

The third round of the 76West competition was launched in December 2017 and received 152 applications from more than a dozen countries and 27 states. Of these, 20 finalists were chosen and participated in a two-day pitch session from July 31 to August 1 at Cornell University. Judges then recommended the top six winners.

Previous 76West winners have already integrated themselves into the Southern Tier, raising $28 million in private capital for future growth, creating multimillion dollar investments in property plants and equipment in the Southern Tier, spending more than $1.7 million on key suppliers, and creating new jobs.

New York State Energy and Finance Chairman Richard Kauffman said, "It's exciting to see yet again a strong, diverse group of entrepreneurs and companies from across the world taking part in the 76West Clean Energy competition. Investments made through this competition are stimulating clean economic development, encouraging innovative entrepreneurship, and attracting new businesses to the Southern Tier and will support Governor Cuomo's ambitious clean energy goals while ensuring strong employment growth that has been a trademark of New York's growing clean energy economy."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "The 76West Competition and clean technologies being developed as of result of it are helping support New York's nation-leading Clean Energy Standard to ensure half of the state's electricity comes from renewable sources and reduce harmful emissions by 2030. I congratulate all of the awardees and finalists on their success in this competition and look forward to seeing them continue to thrive in the Southern Tier."

In addition to revealing the 76West winners, Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced that $8 million is available through a new NYSERDA program to advance novel business models that facilitate adoption of clean energy technologies by helping overcome market barriers such as high initial costs and variable future returns.

Novel business models and offerings might include performance-based contracts, power purchase agreements, resource sharing, or shared savings agreements. Even if such offerings are common in some markets, their demonstrated application in a new market may merit support for scaling and growth to achieve greater clean energy adoption. Funding is available through the state's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. For more information about this funding, visit NYSERDA's website.

76West is a $20 million competition and support program 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 is providing $10 million in awards and $10 million in business support, marketing and administration through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.

The 76West competition supports New York's nation-leading Clean Energy Standard requirement that 50 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable energy by 2030 - a part of the comprehensive Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. 76West fosters cleantech economic development and expands innovative entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier.

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Tom Tranter, President and CEO of Corning Enterprises, and Dr. Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University, said, "Innovation is a key driver of economic growth in the Southern Tier, and the 76West Competition is bringing some of the best and brightest innovators to our region. Not only will the winners of this competition generate new job opportunities and help grow the economy, they will help address our state's clean energy needs. We are excited to see the technology this round of winners will create."

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of SolEpoxy Inc., Jeff Belt said, "When clean-tech companies come to the Southern Tier, they create jobs and economic opportunities. This exciting initiative has already established a foundation of clean energy entrepreneurs throughout the Southern Tier, and today's winners will only further the economic growth experienced in the region. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to Governor Cuomo for supporting our growing clean energy economy."

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of State University of New York at Fredonia, Dr. Virginia Horvath said, "The 76West Competition has been so successful in attracting new, exciting businesses to the clean energy sector in the Southern Tier. The winning businesses will add even more momentum to this region's ongoing revitalization and economic development. I thank Governor Cuomo, NYSERDA, and of our government partners for this exciting opportunity to further the Southern Tier's growth and success."

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "Innovation and entrepreneurship have always been central to the Southern Tier economy. Building on this tradition, 76West encourages new businesses to locate in our region, maintaining New York's status as a leader in the development of clean energy."

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 hereLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

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