The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) recognized that CarbonCapture, a leading climate tech company that designs and builds machines that remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, has partnered with Arizona State University to design a regional direct air capture (DAC) hub under an initiative supported by the Department of Energy and is assessing sites around Greater Phoenix for further investment. This decision highlights the alignment of CarbonCapture’s ambitions with the region’s vision to develop “The New Photon Economy,” positioning Arizona at the forefront of the rapidly emerging climate tech industry.
“Arizona is an ideal place for a direct air capture company to deploy,” said Adrian Corless, CarbonCapture CEO and CTO. “With plentiful renewable energy resources, a highly educated workforce, and world-class academic institutions, it’s an obvious choice. In addition to our partnership with ASU, we’re evaluating multiple manufacturing sites in and around Greater Phoenix that would allow us to leverage the region’s first-class industrial infrastructure.”
On Aug. 17, GPEC convened regional leaders in a virtual event detailing The New Photon Economy vision. ASU, CarbonCapture, GPEC and Idealab shared the strategy to leverage natural resources in Greater Phoenix to attract and scale climate tech companies while putting Arizona on the trajectory to become a leading national climate hub. This progress is adjacent to the August 2023 selection of the Southwest Regional Direct Air Capture Hub, led by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of ASU and co-anchored by CarbonCapture and nine other key partners, for award negotiations through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to conduct a design study that establishes and defines technical requirements for a DAC carbon removal hub in Arizona. This funding would put the project on a path toward additional awards for large-scale deployment.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage our extensive business-friendly infrastructure and deep renewable energy assets to become the leading climate tech center in the U.S.,” said Dr. Michael Crow, President of ASU. “Our vision is to usher Greater Phoenix into a new era, which we call The New Photon Economy. To fully realize this potential and drive our economic progress, we need to cultivate leading start-ups like CarbonCapture, whose mission to decarbonize the atmosphere is both audacious and inspiring. It’s a perfect fit for ASU and Arizona.”
In addition to its partnership with ASU, CarbonCapture on Tuesday announced an investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and collaboration with Amazon to make 100,000 tons of carbon removal credits available to businesses within the company and among the company’s suppliers, selling partners, and customers.
Arizona Climate Ventures, a new portfolio dedicated to fostering and providing critical resources necessary for the growth of The New Photon Economy, has also partnered with CarbonCapture.
“To fully realize Greater Phoenix’s potential and drive our economic progression, we require not only climate tech startups and governmental backing, but also private investments,” remarked Chris Camacho, GPEC President & CEO. “We welcome CarbonCapture to the region and are additionally excited that Arizona Climate Ventures strategic regional partners participated alongside Amazon’s investment in CarbonCapture.”
Many rapidly growing climate tech organizations have the ability to site their manufacturing and project-level deployments anywhere in the world. Spurred by the need to decarbonize the planet in order to fight global warming, the industry is benefiting from massive funding from Fortune 500 companies with net zero goals and government programs like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
“The New Photon Economy isn’t just a vision — it’s the very direction our global efforts must gravitate towards,” said Bill Gross, Founder and Chairman of Idealab, the longest running technology incubator and the incubator where CarbonCapture was founded, and Co-Founder of CarbonCapture. “Arizona already boasts a unique confluence of resources, talent, and, of course, abundant photons, positioning it as the natural nucleus of this transformative movement. It’s a profound honor for me to be associated with pioneering institutions like ASU and Arizona. In my view, Greater Phoenix isn’t merely poised to participate—it’s destined to lead and become the epicenter of this climate-centric revolution. Our mission is clear: deploy our portfolio companies within Arizona, amplify manufacturing operations to full scale, and then champion this wave of innovation, exporting Arizona’s revolutionary solutions to every corner of the globe.”