Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear announces funding awards of more than $1 million from state energy fund to seven Kentucky companies

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 31, 2008  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  


Fund supports private investment in new energy technologies 

FRANKFORT, Ky. –Governor Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman announced today the names of seven Kentucky companies awarded a combined $1,150,000 in funding from the Kentucky New Energy Ventures, a state program that administers public funds for investment in promising renewable and alternative energy companies in the commonwealth. The $5 million fund, established legislatively under the name, “Kentucky Alternative Fuel and Renewable Energy Fund Program,” was created by the state’s General Assembly under House Bill 1 during the 2007 Extraordinary Session. 

“The energy-related technologies being developed by these seven companies demonstrate that innovation is alive and well in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Kentucky New Energy Ventures program not only is helping companies across our state, it is helping produce renewable and alternative energy technologies that could enhance the energy security of our entire nation.” 

The fund provides one-time grants of $30,000. Equity investments by the fund to date range from $250,000 to $750,000 and must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash by the company.

 The following companies received investments:

Wind Energy Corporation (Elizabethtown) - $750,000

Louisville Clean Energy (Louisville and Henry Co.) - $250,000 

Grants awarded include:

Neathery Technologies (Lexington) - $30,000

RE Strategies (Midway) - $30,000

Thermobaric Energy Systems, LLC (Madisonville) - $30,000

Kentucky Renewable Energy (Paducah) - $30,000

Kozo Saito, University of Kentucky (Lexington) - $30,000 

The program’s investments target high-growth potential, early-stage Kentucky-based companies developing and commercializing alternative fuel and/or renewable energy technologies. The Fund is currently accepting new applications for grants and investments, with an application deadline of 4:00 p.m. EDT on August 20, 2008. The application and guidelines are available at http://www.startupkentucky.com. 

Managed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, through the Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI), the program is administered by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, an independent non-profit company.  

“This program is designed for companies that have unique and competitive products and technologies that have or will have intellectual property protection,” said Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman. “Companies applying for these grants and investments must demonstrate that their technologies are commercially viable and that they can lead a successful business venture.  We’re pleased to award the first round of grants to these exemplary Kentucky companies.” 

A brief summary of each award recipient is outlined below:

 Wind Energy Corporation

Headquartered in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Wind Energy Corporation is a pioneer of wind harvesting solutions for the untapped commercial and community market. The company's ambitious and innovative culture is at the heart of its success.  Wind Energy's groundbreaking research gathering highly detailed wind speed and gust data is enabling applications and sites never before even considered. The unique wind sail design of their turbines provides robust, scalable systems, allowing easy integration into customers' new or existing facilities. Wind Energy Corporation is a company where exceeding conventional expectations is the norm.  

Louisville Clean Energy

The LCE renewable energy production facilities will use off-the-shelf fully developed technology in the production of biodiesel. The company plans to build its initial production facility in Henry County, Kentucky the summer of 2009. The biodiesel operation is designed to be synergistic with the region taking advantage of local feedstock and local markets which reduces inbound and outbound transportation costs. LCE employs proven technology utilizing multiple or a variety of feedstock (yellow grease, animal fat and vegetable oil) for biodiesel production. Feedstock diversity mitigates economic pressure on feedstock further reducing cost. 

Neathery Technologies

Neathery Technologies, Inc. (NTI) is proposing a new method for measuring and controlling the thermal efficiency of a biomass gasifier system with a simple instrument that detects the thermal conductivity (TC) of the producer gas. NTI’s proposed device has the capability of being more responsive and less expensive than that of a conventional gas chromatograph (GC) method, requiring $20-$50k in capital costs. NTI projects the cost of the new gas analysis method to be less than $7,000 per unit. Therefore, it has the potential to make small-to-medium-scale gasification system more economical to operate and automate.  

RE Strategies

KNEV grant funding will be used by RE Strategies to refine a renewable energy and energy efficiency consulting business model and also evaluate the development of a transition strategy from a consulting business model to a turn-key project development model. Beyond this transition strategy grant funding will also be used to specifically address the feasibility of use of arc plasma gasification technology in small scale distributive generation sites that can be used to produce synthetic natural gas and electricity using municipal solid waste, biomass, coal, and waste wood resources as feedstocks. 

Thermobaric Energy Systems, LLC

Implo-Dynamics™ is a new technology which holds the potential to offer economical, clean energy solutions to dirty energy problems by harnessing the unused heat and pressure resources from fossil-fueled electrical generation facilities.  The technology delivers a unique method for providing a significant boost in electrical generation output and creates a platform technology for flue gas purification and water conservation while also providing great promise for future carbon capture technology research and development.  

Kentucky Renewable Energy

This is a joint research project between KRE, the University of Kentucky Center of Applied Energy Research, and Kentucky Power Plants with a long-term goal to develop a commercially viable system. The purpose of this project is to use algae to capture CO2 from power plant flue gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The algae product will be researched by the University of Kentucky to determine the viability to use algae as a biodiesel feedstock. 

Kozo Saito, University of Kentucky

In this proposal, a chemical abstraction and transesterification method is proposed to produce biodiesel from vegetable or waste oil residues. The expected biodiesel will have similar molecular weight and viscosity as petroleum-based diesel and can be mixed with diesel in any ratio from zero to 100%. This newly developed fuel will undergo combustion characterization including burning rate, flammability limits, minimal sooting propensity and lower pollutant emission before it can be tested in existing engines. Therefore, we also propose combustion characterization in our laboratory.