AAEA member companies, DOE make major announcements

FAYETTVILLE, AR. As part of National Small Business Week, Arkansas Advanced Energy Association hosted U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Daniel Poneman in Fayetteville today to showcase Arkansas’s advanced energy sector.

The Deputy Secretary made a major announcement about the DOE’s commitment to small business and the advanced energy economy, after a tour of the Arkansas Power Electronics International facility. Following the tour, two AAEA member companies, Silicon Solar Solutions and Next Gen Illumination, also made major announcement about their operations in the state.

“Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is proud to welcome Deputy Secretary Poneman to Arkansas today in honor of Small Business Week,” said Steve Patterson, executive director of AAEA. “Our companies are changing the landscape of the Arkansas economy and we share the Department of Energy’s commitment to advanced energy as a job creator. Deputy Secretary Poneman could have traveled anywhere in the U.S. to make these important announcements today so we welcome his recognition of Arkansas’s advanced energy innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The Deputy Secretary announced $11 million in innovative research and technology grants of up to $150,000 to 69 small businesses nationwide as well as $8 billion in Energy Department contracting to 5,000 small businesses over the past year.

Deputy Secretary Poneman made the announcements at Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI), a small business that received one of the Small Business Innovative Research grants of $150,000. APEI develops state-of-the-art technology in power storage systems for electric vehicles and other advanced energy technologies.

Next Gen Illumination, Inc., a Fayetteville, AR LED lighting manufacturer announced the unique transfer of their advanced LED light manufacturing from Asia to Fayetteville, Arkansas.

“Initial DOE Stimulus funds awarded through the Arkansas Energy Office’s ARRA funding to save energy and create American Clean Tech jobs has succeeded in Arkansas,” said Jerry McCormick with Next Gen Illumination (NGI).

With exports markets on the rise, Next Gen has now established national distribution across the Canadian market for both its agriculture line of LED solutions and its commercial/industrial lines. Both market lines ultimately leading to further expansion of advanced clean tech LED products produced in the USA.

A leader and initial creator of LED lighting technology in the untapped agricultural market, NGI has met the Administration’s mandate for greater energy savings and profits to rural communities at the farm level.

University of Arkansas solar start-up, Silicon Solar Solutions announced it raised additional financing from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and private equity financing to work towards a pilot production line of its technology that decreases the costs of manufacturing solar. Silicon Solar Solutions is commercializing a process to crystallize amorphous silicon into large grain polysilicon with unparalleled grain size and ease of processing. This decreases materials used in wafer-based and thin-film devices while increasing energy output, which leads to lower costs.

Click here for more information about the DOE awards.

About Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA)

The AAEA is a unique blend of manufacturers, energy providers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, educators, researchers, consultants and public officials whose common interest and expertise focuses on advanced energy development and economic expansion in Arkansas. In Arkansas, advanced energy includes energy efficient buildings, energy efficient farm solutions, biofuels and bio-products, compressed natural gas, wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear and hydroelectric technologies. These industries produce energy savings, use resources more productively, reduce dependence on foreign oil and reduce health and environmental costs.