FloDesign To Expand Operations In Massachusetts

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Wilbraham, Mass.-based FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp., a developer of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-recognized wind energy technology, will expand its operations by utilizing funds from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).

The company is establishing a new corporate headquarters and product development center, in addition to maintaining its aerodynamic research center in Wilbraham. The company also intends to assemble its first wind turbines in Massachusetts.

To help facilitate this expansion, the MassCEC has approved a $3 million financing package for FloDesign. The package includes a five-year, $700,000 forgivable loan, contingent on the company's maintaining its corporate headquarters and primary research and development facility in Massachusetts; creating or retaining 150 jobs in the next three years; and maintaining those jobs for an additional two years.

In addition, the package includes a $600,000 convertible grant, which gives MassCEC an equity stake in FloDesign should the company receive additional financing, and $1.7 million from MassCEC's Renewable Energy Trust to defray a portion of the cost of installing the company's first ‘shrouded’ wind turbines at state or local public entities and nonprofit organizations.

Founded in 2007, FloDesign Wind has developed a high-efficiency, shrouded wind turbine design based on mature jet-engine technology, which promises to deliver more than three times the amount of energy as traditional wind turbines for the same size rotor.

In 2008, FloDesign won the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize, as well as the Ignite Clean Energy Competition. Since that time, the company has raised over $40 million of venture capital financing in two rounds.

In 2009, the company was also awarded an $8.3 million grant as part of the U.S. DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy program, which supports the development of ‘transformational’ energy technologies.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Deval Patrick

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