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Pennsylvania firm captures grand prize in 76West clean-energy competition

By Eric Reinhardt


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–based Optimus Technologies is the $1 million grand-prize winner of this year’s 76West clean-energy competition. The company manufactures biodiesel fuel systems for diesel trucks that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel costs. The state announced a total of six winning companies during a Wednesday morning ceremony at Binghamton University. (Photo credit: NYSERDA Twitter page)

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — A Pennsylvania company that makes emission-reducing biodiesel fuel systems for trucks is grand-prize in this year’s 76West clean-energy competition in the Southern Tier.

Pittsburgh–based Optimus Technologies, which manufactures biodiesel fuel systems for diesel trucks that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs, was named the $1 million grand prize winner.

The company plans to expand its operations to the Southern Tier, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Wednesday news release.

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the winners during the Wednesday morning ceremony at Binghamton University.

Optimus Technologies is among six winning companies at the 76West competition, described as “one of the largest competitions in the country that supports growing clean energy businesses to foster economic development,” per Cuomo’s release.

The competition supports Cuomo’s Green New Deal, “the most aggressive climate change program in the nation and complements ‘Southern Tier Soaring,’ the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development,” as described in the release.

A total of $2.5 million was competitively awarded to six companies. A $500,000 winner and four $250,000 winners were also named as part of the competition, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).


$500,000 award winner

Radical Plastics of Marblehead, Massachusetts captured a $500,000 award. It develops a biodegradable replacement for agricultural plastic mulch, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality by reducing fertilizer and avoiding plastic incineration.

$250,000 award winners

The $250,000 winners include CleanFiber of Buffalo. The company manufactures low-dust high-performance cellulose building insulation from recycled cardboard that increases energy efficiency and reduces energy costs.

Cambridge Crops of Somerville, Massachusetts produces an edible bio-based protein coating that reduces food spoilage and waste as well as associated carbon dioxide emissions from food production and transport.

The winners also include Carbon Upcycling Technologies of Calgary, Alberta, which transforms carbon-dioxide emissions into nanoparticles that can be used to produce coatings and additives to extend the life of concrete, thereby helping to avoid greenhouse gas emissions associated with concrete manufacturing.

ProsumerGrid of Atlanta, Georgia produces integrated planning software enabling electric utilities and energy service companies to optimize deployment of distributed energy resources such as solar and energy storage.

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