August 02, 2006

Alternative Fuel Research Lab To Be Constructed At Saratoga Tech Park

By: by Richard A. D'Errico, Staff Writer, The Business Review


Gov. George Pataki announced plans for an alternative fuel research lab at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park on Tuesday.

During the announcement at the Malta, N.Y., tech park, Pataki also said that a Canadian company that manufactures high tech batteries would move into the area.

The company, electrovaya, will occupy 5,000 square feet of an existing building at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park. Initially the company will have 15 employees locally, but expects to expand that number to 75 people over the next five years.

Also announced Tuesday was as a $10 million program to convert 600 of the state's fleet of vehicles into hybrids. Currently, 5,500 of the state's fleet are already hybrids.

Pataki said STEP would be to energy what Albany NanoTech is to nanotechnology. The state at University at Albany's $3 billion Albany NanoTech research site is home to research efforts of giants such as IBM, Honeywell and AMD.

"These new programs are important tools in our effort to develop clean and renewable fuels, promote greater energy efficiency, and create jobs in the emerging energy sector," Pataki said.

At one point, an easel holding a rendering of the new lab, blew over. Without missing a beat, Pataki said wind power was also an important energy source that would be developed at the park.

Peter Smith, president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, said when Pataki first announced the park five years ago, the building on the site was empty. Now, companies such as Starfire Systems and DayStar have operations there and it's "bursting at the seams."

Pataki said that three-quarters of the funding for the alternative energy park would come from the private sector.

At the same press event, the governor announced that Hudson Valley Community College would open up a training facility at the tech park focusing on alternative energy.