EnerG2, an innovative seven-year-old company focused on introducing advanced nano-structured materials for next-generation energy storage, today announced the groundbreaking of the world's first facility dedicated to the commercial-scale production of synthetic high-performance carbon electrode material. This material is the most important ingredient in ultracapacitor energy storage devices, which are used in electric and hybrid vehicles.
The plant, which will create at least 35 new high-quality jobs when fully operational, was made possible by a $21.3 million Federal stimulus grant allocated by the US Department of Energy for makers of advanced automotive batteries and energy storage technologies. In addition to the permanent jobs created by the Federal stimulus funding, an estimated 50 construction jobs will be added to local payrolls. On a national scale, the plant will produce a material that can spur large-scale domestic production of energy storage devices and electric-drive vehicles.
"It's extremely gratifying to see the U.S. Department of Energy funds supporting new energy-focused materials production," said Rick Luebbe, CEO of EnerG2, "and it's a clear reflection of EnerG2's ability to address the specific needs of energy storage customers and tailor our products for their unique applications."
EnerG2's state-of-the-art manufacturing approach revolves around mass customization of electrode materials that enhance energy and power density in ultracapacitors, one of the essential engines of our clean-technology future. In designing and constructing the a manufacturing facility to support this approach, EnerG2 will partner with Albany-based Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. (OFD), a current manufacturing partner. OFD will help the company design elements of this commercial-scale plant for the production of energy storage materials.
"Albany is very fortunate to have Oregon Freeze Dry as one of our largest employers and strong community advocate for decades. We are excited about their partnering with EnerG2 in the all important area of expanded and innovative energy storage," said Sharon Konopa, Mayor of the City of Albany. "The green jobs that the facility will create over the next 18 months will certainly help Albany weather the slow economic recovery. We welcome EnerG2 to Albany."
Ultracapacitors, which are dependent on the performance of their materials, store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries. The size and make-up of the electrodes' surface area helps ultracapacitors store and supply large bursts of energy; the materials also effectively enable virtually limitless cycle life.
Looking forward, ultracapacitors containing EnerG2 materials will be increasingly embraced by the automotive industry for hybrid electric vehicles, by electronics manufacturers for enhancing the life and usability of consumer goods, and by a variety of industrial customers to deliver an ever-increasing breadth of new ways to improve energy efficiency.
EnerG2 has a strong track record of backing from the public and private sectors. Among the company's supporters: the University of Washington, the Washington Technology Center, a state-supported economic development agency that finances applications of university research, WRF Capital, the Sustainability Investment Fund, Northwest Energy Angels, the Frontier Angel Fund, OVP Venture Partners, Firelake Capital Management and Yaletown Venture Partners.