The Greater Phoenix Economic Council ( GPEC ) hosted a forum on Dec. 8 to welcome three green and sustainable businesses to Arizona. While Arizona provides particular benefits for these businesses, including climate, educated workforce and tax credits, these businesses will provide benefits for Arizona and its communities by creating jobs, in addition to upholding the reputation of Phoenix as a leader in sustainability.
GPEC Introduces Clear Energy Systems, Maxwell Technologies Inc. and Bryan University to Arizona
Clear Energy Systems
Clear Energy Systems, is a research and design company based out of Tempe since 2001, but now that the company is ready to go into production mode, it was time to determine a home base.
Clear Energy Systems developed a clean burning, one-megawatt generator that is powered using natural gas, opposed to traditional diesel generators.
The Clear Energy Systems generator has been designed to meet or exceed the EPA and the CARB emissions requirements. The company expects to have its first saleable unit produced in 2Q of 2012, but even with the generator still in production, the company already has orders for 200 units.
Clear Energy Systems is gearing up to have a local workforce of 350 employees and represent five percent of the exports of the state of Arizona by 2016.
“We want Clear Energy Systems to be a place that people are banging down the doors to come work at,” says Joel Borovay, chief operating officer (COO) of Clear Energy Systems. “By 2014, we’ve committed to the state of Arizona that we will have 225 employees; today we have 11.”
Maxwell Technologies Inc.
Maxwell Technologies Inc. representative, Earl Wiggins, the vice president of operations, was enthusiastic about expanding the company to Peoria.
Maxwell Technologies Inc. will be manufacturing Ultracapacitors in the Peoria plant. These Ultracapacitors are used in heavy transportation vehicles, such as buses, trains, trams and metros around the world. The mechanism stores the energy created when the vehicle stops and uses that energy for the vehicle to accelerate. This type of technology is also used in energy windmills to control the direction of the blades as the wind changes.
The Ultracapacitors have to be manufactured in a low- to zero-humidity environment, so choosing the Southwest was a no-brainer. Cities such as Albuquerque and San Antonio were competing for the patronage of Maxwell Technologies, but according to Wiggins, “Phoenix won out because of GPEC’s outstanding communication with our company and the current availability of facilities. The other cities were willing to build a facility for us, but time was a factor.”
Maxwell Technologies sells its Ultracapacitor model to 40 different countries and expects to bring 150 jobs to Phoenix in the next three years.
Bryan University is relocating its headquarters from Los Angeles to Tempe.
The online-based university offers a variety of courses for higher education seeking students. Eric Evans, chief technology/compliance officer for Bryan University, explained the high tech systems used to facilitate a successful and engaging learning environment that is available on the Internet.
The university uses programs such as Moodle, eDiscovery and Illuminate to facilitate a face-to-face learning environment with access to all the amenities that a student would receive if they attended a university in person, just simply eliminating the carbon footprint.
Bryan University was considering other locations in addition to Arizona as the optimal relocation for its headquarters; however, Arizona won top spot for its close proximity to its current location in California, the growing population of Arizona, the need and desire for online education and avaliablity for persons with higher education degrees to fit employment qualifications.
“In the next two years, we expect to hire between 150 to 200 employees with higher education degrees to fill positions with our university,” Evans says.
All three of these companies were in talks with other cities as the new manufacturing site or headquarters, but Phoenix won out as Arizona’s climate, population and desire for economic expansion won these companies over. Each feature of our state contributes to our success — expanding population, the sustainable technology programs provided by Arizona’s colleges and universities, the warm sunny weather and the continuing interest by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council for Arizona’s economic and sustainable improvement.