Infinia Raises $11.5M To Make New Solar-Power Generators, Entices Paul Allen Again
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at Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico, another is in Belen, NM. He wouldn’t say where all the others are. Rather than try to add new orders, Infinia has been concentrating on getting all its suppliers lined up, in places like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Utah, and Illinois. It’s critical to ensure the quality of the product first, and worry about getting more orders later, he says. The initial batch of orders, it should also be noted, only “firm up,” Sitton says, after Infinia has delivered on its promises, in terms of what the product can actually do.
“Far more people want the product than we can satisfy at the moment,” Sitton says. “They are letting me know, energetically every day, that they want the product.”
Infinia itself only has 150 employees, and plans to remain small in the near future, with a team that focuses on design, marketing, and customer service, Sitton says. But once it enters mass production, and the suppliers are fully up and running, it expects them to employ “thousands” of people, many of whom have lost jobs during the contraction of the auto industry, Sitton says. Infinia hasn’t secured any incentives from local politicians who want to do something to create high-wage cleantech jobs, but the company may seek some help at a later time, Sitton says.
“We are a poster child,” for creating cleantech jobs, he says.
Of course, Infinia doesn’t have a monopoly on the idea of turning solar heat into electricity. One of its prime competitors has also made a significant stride since I wrote the original story on Infinia in August. Scottsdale, AZ-based Stirling Energy Systems (SES) joined a project to build a 1.5 megawatt demonstration project for solar thermal energy in Maricopa County, AZ. Later this year, Infinia hopes to do more to publicize its pilot projects, Sitton says.