Horseheads, NY According to governor Andrew Cuomo, EkoStinger, the $1 million grand prize winner of the 2018 76West Clean Energy Competition, opened its new manufacturing plant in the Southern Tier, creating new jobs that support the local community. The new plant will manufacture devices for tractor trailers that reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency.
“New York is making historic investments through the 76West competition to combat climate change, generate economic growth and create good jobs in every corner of the state,” gov. Cuomo said. “The opening of EkoStinger’s manufacturing plant exemplifies our aggressive efforts to support cutting-edge clean energy entrepreneurs and keep the Southern Tier soaring.”
Since winning the competition last September, EkoStinger signed a lease for the new 8,000 s/f facility at Elmira Corning Regional Airport, purchased new equipment from local vendors and hired six new employees.
The new facility, which will enable it to manufacture additional product for distribution, is in addition to their building in Rochester where they employ an additional 18 workers. The new facility is expected to increase production for EkoStinger from 2,000 to 8,000 units a year, allowing them to expand their customer base which currently includes Bridgestone, Raymour and Flanigan, Nestle, Ryder, Penske and Hyundai, among others.
“The vision behind the 76West competition was to spark innovation that creates jobs and protects our environment,” said lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul, who made today’s announcement at the event in Horseheads. “Success has been achieved with the opening today of EkoStinger’s new manufacturing facility. After announcing the company as the winner of the 2018 76West competition in September, they are creating new jobs and continuing the momentum of growth in the region. The competition encourages entrepreneurial success and innovation and complements New York’s aggressive clean energy goals as part of the Green New Deal, supporting a cleaner and greener environment for future generations.”
EkoStinger, which is based in Rochester, manufactures under-trailer aerodynamic devices for tractor trailers that reduce emissions and save fuel. Each device installed reduces emissions by 4.9 metric tons per year - the equivalent of taking one car off the road. The transportation sector is one of the largest producers of energy related greenhouse gas emissions in New York.
Launched by governor 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. The competition supports governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York on a path to carbon neutrality while spurring growth of the green economy. It also complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.
Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, New York is boldly paving the way to a clean energy future and building a thriving twenty-first century clean energy economy. EkoStinger is a shining example of yet another promising clean technology company choosing to locate in the rapidly growing clean energy cluster in the Southern Tier, and this manufacturing facility will accelerate production and progress for their innovative clean transportation solution.”
Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The 76West competition is helping clean-tech innovators like EkoStinger to grow, advancing technologies in the Southern Tier and beyond, creating more jobs and boosting the regional economy.”
Parr Wiegel, CEO and co-founder, EkoStinger said, “We thank governor Cuomo for creating the 76West Competition and highlighting the importance of emerging clean energy companies. The overall experience of 76West has made us a better company and we look forward to being in the Southern Tier.”
76West winners from the first three rounds of the competition have integrated themselves into the Southern Tier, raising $28 million in private capital for future growth, creating multimillion-dollar investments in property and equipment in the Southern Tier, spending more than $1.7 million on key suppliers, and creating new jobs.
EkoStinger is also located near the 2016 76West grand prize winner, Micatu. Micatu has expanded its operations and hired approximately 50 employees since it won the 76West Competition. Micatu, which moved from an incubator in Painted Post to its current, larger facility in Horseheads following the competition, makes optical sensors that gives highly accurate voltage and current readings so utilities can reduce energy use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to adding more employees, it has purchased goods and services from local vendors totaling more than $1 million, expanded the size of its manufacturing facility and signed an agreement to supply its unique grid technology to Eaton Corp., a leading global power management company.
Michael Oshetski, CEO, Micatu, said, “Since winning the 76West competition, Micatu has really accelerated its growth at a tremendous rate. This enabled us to significantly increase manufacturing operations and employment opportunities for the Southern Tier.”
The 76West Competition is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. As a condition of the 76West 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.
The 76West Competition is currently accepting applications through April 15. A group of up to 20 semifinalists will be selected and brought to the Southern Tier next spring to meet with mentors who will connect them with prospective local partners, industry leaders, potential sources of funding, and other resources within the region.