Fri April 20, 2012
Energy Storage Center Slated for Eastman Business Park
Representatives of a statewide battery and energy storage consortium, NY BEST, announced plans Friday for creating a commercialization center at Eastman Business Park. The planned Rochester-based hub would allow partnering companies to produce large quantities of battery and fuel cells.
William Acker is the executive director of the consortium. He says over the next few years, transportation and electric power industries throughout New York are going to drastically change. So he says setting up this operation of shared resources would better position partnering companies to compete globally.
"This center would form the missing link in getting new technologies to the market in this very exciting field of growing jobs in the state."
Acker says the alternative energy sector projects growing jobs by the tens of thousands over the next decade.
So far the project has $7 million in state funding. $3.5 million of that is part of a nearly $69 million award granted to the Finger Lakes region for economic development. However, Acker says the project still needs about $10 to 15 million in private funding.
State Senator Joe Robach says creating a local hub for sharing innovative technologies is good news for the region.
"This I believe can be the acorn ... to become the oak tree employment for our area," says Robach. "This is a huge thing. And I''m very glad that we not only have the Kodak Park structure, but RIT, Ultralife batteries, and so many other companies already operating. And they are going to work together under this BEST consortium."
Energy storage technologies include rechargeable batteries for electric cars and devices and fuel cells. The first phase of the project is slated to open sometime next year.