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$500,000 Loan Sparks Spokane Energy Tech Firm to Relocate to Rhode Island

Area Development Online News Desk (02/13/2012)
A $500,000 Renewable Energy Fund loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation sparked Utilidata Inc., a Spokane, Washington-based firm that developed automated technology to manage energy flow across the utility grid, to relocate across the country to New England. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation will provide the firm with the flexible growth capital it needs to continue to expand and relocate to Rhode Island. The firm is also interested in the state's pool of talented technicians and engineers to further enhance its products.

It's strategic investments in development of new energy technologies and growing, cutting-edge businesses like Utilidata that create quality, high-paying jobs and are key to building a dynamic and competitive business environment in Rhode Island, said RIEDC executive director Keith Stokes. "The Renewable Energy Fund is a great tool to help businesses grow, reduce their energy costs and to help Rhode Island attract companies looking to also tap into our hotbed of young talent and high concentration of world-class colleges and universities"

According to Utilidata officials, the firm initially plans bring eight to 15 jobs to Rhode Island this year and then create 47 full-time jobs in the state by the end of 2015. The average annual wage for these jobs is expected to be about $91,000. Over the four-year job growth period, the new positions are estimated to generate approximately $352,000 in state income taxes, the firm estimated.

"Utilidata is exactly the type of company we want to attract to relocate and expand in Rhode Island, bringing good, high-paying jobs to our state," said Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Braemar Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm, is a lead investor and majority owner of Utilidata, focusing on energy investments in both the alternative and traditional energy markets. As part of its investment and growth strategy, Braemar is relocating the company to the Rhode Island market because of the area's deep talent pool of the engineers and technicians that the company needs to further develop its product and grow the business and the financing available through the state's Renewable Energy Fund.

The loan is subject to Utilidata executing a lease in Rhode Island and establishing local headquarters in the state.
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