Advanced Energy Storage Company Transforming Industry with Breakthrough Technology Selects Arizona Over Southwestern States
ASU, GPEC and Arizona Commerce Authority partner to keep company here
PHOENIX, AZ (October 28, 2010) — The Greater Phoenix Economic Council, in collaboration with Arizona State University and The Arizona Commerce Authority, announces a chief expansion of one of the greatest advances in energy storage technology.
Fluidic Energy will locate its manufacturing and technology center in Maricopa County and create hundreds of next-generation jobs in the coming years. The company, which has developed a new benchmark for clean, cost-effective, safe and sustainable energy storage through an innovative new battery technology, will select a final site in early 2011.
A spin-out of ASU’s Arizona Technology Enterprises, Fluidic Energy’s innovative storage approach will transform the way electricity is generated, delivered and consumed. Storing renewable energy is cited as a key challenge to the industry’s viability and large-scale penetration. Fluidic Energy’s innovative approach delivers a fundamentally lower cost and ultra-long run times in comparison to traditional batteries.
In 2006, GPEC partnered with ASU President Michael Crow to launch a university-led economic development strategy centered on ASU’s technology assets as regional drivers. GPEC then formed a tech-based advisory committee, led by ASU Vice President Todd Hardy, to identify opportunities within promising tech sectors such as solar and renewable energy. This committee was among the first to recommend a statewide renewable energy program, which led to the formation of policy recommendations for Senate Bill 1403—Arizona’s Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program.
“The alignment of GPEC’s efforts and ASU’s research are paying off,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, GPEC’s chairman and University of Phoenix president. “Not only has Arizona’s renewable energy program attracted six solar firms and nearly 1,000 jobs to the region, but it’s also enabled us to retain this cutting-edge technology in the Valley.”
Fluidic Energy had considered locating its manufacturing technology center in one of several Southwestern states. Securing the company’s decision to stay in Greater Phoenix marks another win for Arizona’s landmark Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program.
“Fluidic Energy represents the type of innovation in renewable energy that will ensure Arizona is a global industry leader,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “Since becoming Governor, I have been consistently focused on ensuring we support the industries necessary for the 21st Century, those that are vital to the Arizona Comeback. Fluidic Energy provides a real world example of how our state embraces business and supports the necessary research and development for commercialization of technologies that will strengthen and sustain Arizona’s economy.”
Along with ASU, GPEC worked with the Arizona Commerce Authority to solidify the project in the state.
“Fluidic Energy is a national example of what can be achieved and why we must embrace and foster the growth of emerging renewable energy technologies,” said Don Cardon, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “There has never been a more significant time for us to make a difference for promising early-stage companies in fast-growth, high-income export industries so that they may advance beyond research and development into technology transfer. The opportunities that will be born from Fluidic Energy will reap many benefits for Arizonans in the years ahead.”
ASU is a leader in driving technology innovation and economic development through its focus on use inspired research.
“We believe that alternative and renewable forms of energy are essential elements to the future health and well-being of our nation,” said Michael Crow, president of ASU. “What we do in our labs today will go a long way to establishing our energy security in the future.”
Fluidic Energy produces low-cost energy storage batteries, using a breakthrough green technology developed by ASU under the direction of Professor Cody Friesen. The batteries can be configured for small back-up size applications to large scale utility projects.
The company’s technology can store large amounts of energy when demand is low and release it during peak use times. The unique technology addresses longstanding problems in the renewable energy industry by firming the intermittent nature of wind and solar, as well as reducing utility costs by load shifting to better align demand with availability. The company’s technology will also be capable of replacing diesel generators, back-up power, grid security and ultimately long range electric vehicles.
A world leader in alternative energy research, ASU has won several grants in alternative fuels research including two from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) prestigious ARPA-E program totaling more than $10 million. ASU was the only university to win two awards in the first round of ARPA-E funding. Fluidic earned one of those grants, with Friesen as the principal investigator, for its work with metal-air battery technology. ASU has been actively engaged in assisting the company in its development as a startup venture.
To date, Fluidic has been funded by private investors including a prestigious private equity firm, based in Menlo Park, California. In addition, the company was awarded $8 million in two grants from the U.S. Department of Energy based on ASU’s platform technology.
Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1231, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit azcommerce.com and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.