A sunny day for ECOtality - East Valley Tribune: Business

A sunny day for ECOtality

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Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:08 am | Updated: 6:08 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

ECOtality, a Scottsdale-based alternative energy company, said today it will acquire a San Diego solar energy firm, adding to the local company’s portfolio of renewable energy technologies.

The acquisition, Innergy Power Corp., makes photovoltaic modules and battery packs that provide electricity for emergency equipment, mobile communications, vehicle tracking and other applications.

“Innergy Power’s products enable users to create, store and use clean electricity, anywhere while on the go,” said Jonathan Read, ECOtality’s president and chief executive.

The companies expect the purchase to close in October.

The solar energy devices will be added to ECOtality’s existing line of products that consist of Hydrality, an apparatus that produces hydrogen on demand from water and magnesium, Fuel Cell Store, a retailer of fuel cells and related equipment, and ECOtality Life, a Web site providing information about renewable products and companies.

Read, who formed ECOtality in 2006, is developing his company as an accumulator of technologies developed by others who need financing and help in bringing their products to market.

Hydrality, for example, is a device developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., and ECOtality hopes to find ways to use the technology in down-to-earth applications such as powering buses and providing energy for utilities and backup power uses.

The $3 million Innergy Power acquisition will include a manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico, which will provide additional manufacturing capabilities for fuel-cell products for the Fuel Cell Store, which the company acquired in June.

Read said the company is seeking further acquisitions, which will bring it into the field of wind power and other renewable technologies.

“We are looking at becoming one of the biggest amalgamators of renewable clean-energy companies,” he said.

Read, founder of the Park Plaza Hotel chain, sold his interest in that company and started ECOtality with a group of investors last year when they acquired an existing firm that had made “green” cleaning chemicals. Read quickly dropped the cleaning supplies and moved into the field of renewable energy.

“I wanted to do something in Act 2 of my life that was socially responsible,” he said. “I’m concerned about where we are moving as a country. ... It is very harmful to have such a heavy reliance on foreign oil.”

The company has 16 employees and will add 31 more when the Innergy Power deal is complete.

Although the companies he is purchasing are located elsewhere, Read plans to keep ECOtality’s headquarters and product development in Arizona.

“This state should be a renewable energy leader,” he said.

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