Archive for the ‘Company News’ Category


Alternative Fusion Technologies Heat Up

helio_logo title_stacked_LinkedJul 24, 2014 |By M. Mitchell Waldrop and Nature magazine *The full article includes reference to Tri Alpha Energy and General Fusion.

Helion Energy in Redmond, Washington is developing a linear colliding-beam reactor that would be small enough to be carried on the back of a large truck. The Helion reactor will fire a steady stream of plasmoids from each side into a chamber, where the fuel is crushed by magnetic fields until fusion begins. Within one second, the fusion products are channelled away just as the next pair of plasmoids hurtles in. “The analogy we like to make is to a diesel engine,” says the company’s chief executive, David Kirtley. “On each stroke you inject the fuel, compress it with the piston it until it ignites without needing a spark, and the explosion pushes back on the piston.”

Helion has demonstrated the concept in a D–D reactor with plasmoids that fire once every three minutes, and it is now seeking $15 million in private financing over the next five years to develop a full-scale machine that could use D–T fuel to reach the break-even point, when it generates as much energy as it takes to run. The company hopes that its reactor could eventually reach the hotter conditions needed to fuse deuterium with helium-3, another combination that produces only α-particles and protons, with no neutron by-products.

Kirtley is optimistic about the money. “There is a giant market need for low-cost, safe, clean power,” he says. “So we’re seeing a big push in the private investment community to fund alternative ways to generate it.” And if the fund-raising is successful, says Kirtley, “our plan is to have our pilot power plant come online in six years.” Read more here.




Hydrobee Wins Innovative World Technologies Award at the SXSW V2Venture Competition

HydrobeeJuly 16, 2014, SEATTLE, WA – Hydrobee SPC won the Innovative World Technologies award at the SXSW V2Venture conference and business pitch contest on July 16, 2014 in Las Vegas.

Hydrobee Stream Body - Model“We are glad the judges recognize the huge impact our product can have on people’s lives,” says Burt Hamner, co-founder and President of Hydrobee. The small Hydrobee turbine battery harvests renewable energy from any natural energy source, including water pipes, rivers and streams, wind, fire, sun, bikes and muscles. It puts out USB power for phones, LED lamps, or any USB device. Equipped with a text messaging chip for remote on-off control, the Hydrobee will be sold via Pay-As-You-Go micro-financing so a billion people who live off the grid can have a renewable energy source for phones, lights, tablet PCs, and more.

To see Hydrobee founder Burt Hamner’s award winning 2-minute pitch presented at SXSW V2V, visit
V2Venture is a fast-paced pitch event geared to take the most innovative startups through a rigorous review and rehearsal process before unleashing them on a live audience and panel of esteemed judges. More than 200 companies submitted to present at V2Venture, and five finalists were selected in five different categories including: Education Technologies, Health Technologies, Mobile and Tablet Technologies, Culture and Entertainment Technologies and Innovative World Technologies. Read More…


HaloSource and Rain for Rent Alliance to Accelerate the Delivery of Enhanced Water Filtration Solutions

HaloSourceHelping Customers More Effectively Meet Environmental Regulatory Requirements

HaloSource® and Rain for Rent® are pleased to announce that they have signed a strategic partnership to provide customers with enhanced water filtration solutions. This alliance delivers customers a single source solution that cost effectively meets water discharge standards on their jobsites in an environmentally responsible way.

The HaloKlear portfolio of eco-friendly polymer technologies addresses a wide variety of pollutants and contaminant types including total suspended solids, algae, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, oils and organic compounds.  The strategic partnership is targeting a significant share of the $1.9 billion domestic market[1] for flocculent chemicals, focused in construction, environmental, simple mining and industrial applications. Strategies to win more of that business include digital marketing targeting new and existing Rain for Rent customers, lead sharing and co-branding proposals and marketing materials.

Rain for Rent’s specialty is delivering complete water management systems including pumps, pipe, tanks and filtration backed by engineering and sales expertise. By providing liquid handling solutions for the past 80 years, Rain for Rent is one of the largest players in the equipment rental and engineering services space, with more than 1,500 employees who serve all 50 states and Canada from over 60 locations. Read More…


PNNL Director Mike Kluse announces retirement

Mike-KluseMike Kluse, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and senior vice president at Battelle, today announced his plans to retire, effective March 31, 2015. Battelle operates PNNL for DOE’s Office of Science.

Kluse was named interim laboratory director at PNNL in January 2007 and permanent director in May 2008. Under his leadership the Laboratory strengthened its science portfolio as well as the value of its applied research and development programs to sponsors across government, academia and industry.

“Mike has had a tremendous impact on the success and growth of the laboratory, and we are grateful for the strong leadership and vision that he provided to both PNNL and Battelle,” said Battelle President and CEO Jeff Wadsworth. “Under Mike’s leadership, Battelle regularly received high marks from DOE for its stewardship of PNNL, while the laboratory saw an expansion in its physical campus, budget and staff.” Read More…


Premier Tech Aqua Achieves Breakthrough in Innovative & Sustainable Septic Solutions

PremierTechAqua_1Premier Tech Aqua achieves a breakthrough in innovative and sustainable septic solutions with the newly NSF-certified Ecoflo® Coco Filter

Québec, Canada, July 15, 2014 – After 30 years of R&D efforts and the continuous improvement of its compact biofiltration technologies for the onsite wastewater treatment industry, Premier Tech Aqua (PTA), a Business Unit of the Environmental Technologies Group of Premier Tech, announces today that it has achieved a breakthrough and proudly launches its recently NSF International certified Ecoflo Coco Filter.

In addition to its existing line of award-winning and eco-friendly Ecoflo Biofilter septic solutions, the new Ecoflo Coco Filter is a model of sustainable development – a permanent septic installation that fully protects ecosystems using a filtering media mindful of its impact on the environment and the prosperity of future generations. Read More…


Avista Forms Salix Natural Gas Subsidiary

Avista, Spokane-based utility and WCTA gold member

June 24, 2014 (Spokane, WA) - Salix, Inc., a non-utility subsidiary of Avista Corp., has been formed to explore domestic markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas, primarily in the West and Pacific Northwest. Robert J. Lafferty, a 30-year employee of Avista, has been named president of Salix.

“The increase in natural gas production and sustained lower costs make it possible to serve new markets, especially those markets where environmental issues and long-term economics are key drivers,” Lafferty said. “Salix will explore ways to extend the significant benefits of natural gas beyond traditional pipeline-supplied markets.”

“Avista Corp.’s growth strategy has long-been to deliver innovative, cost-effective energy solutions. Salix will be the platform for our ongoing work exploring the growth potential of LNG with customers in search of better solutions,” said Scott Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Avista Corp.

Salix was formed to plan, coordinate and provide custom liquefied natural gas solutions for wholesale and business-to-business markets in the United States. It is a subsidiary of Avista Capital, Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit the company’s website at

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 366,000 customers and natural gas to 326,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista’s primary, non-utility subsidiary is Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with over 700 expense management customers, representing more than 700,000 sites. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit


Silicon sponge improves lithium-ion battery performance

Battelle / PNNLBy Frances White, PNNL

RICHLAND, Wash. – The lithium-ion batteries that power our laptops and electric vehicles could store more energy and run longer on a single charge with the help of a sponge-like silicon material.

Researchers developed the porous material to replace the graphite traditionally used in one of the battery’s electrodes, as silicon has more than 10 times the energy storage capacity of graphite. A paper describing the material’s performance as a lithium-ion battery electrode was published today in Nature Communications.

“Silicon has long been sought as a way to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, but silicon swells so much when it is charged that it can break apart, making a silicon electrode inoperable,” saidPacific Northwest National Laboratory Fellow Ji-Guang “Jason” Zhang. “The porous, sponge-like material we’ve developed gives silicon the room it needs to expand without breaking.” Read More…


UniEnergy Technologies Goes from Molecules to Megawatts


UniEnergy Technologies

By Benjamin Romano, Xconomy Seattle

Vanadium, in the eyes of energy storage innovators, is a lovely, generous element, even though it’s often found in some dirty places. It is named for a Norse goddess of beauty. Its color, when dissolved in an electrolyte solution, changes from lilac to green to blue to yellow as it easily gives and takes electrons, creating the current inside a battery.

Vanadium is also increasingly sought both for its traditional use as an alloy to strengthen steel, and as the key ingredient in a battery chemistry that could form part of the solution to one of the biggest challenges the world faces—climate change. Electricity storage systems such as vanadium batteries can help add large amounts of solar and wind energy to the power grid, providing a consistent supply at times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Utilities and their regulators see such large-scale energy storage as a key enabling technology for smart grids, distributed energy systems, and meaningful levels of reliable carbon-free electricity from solar and wind to replace coal and gas-fired power plants.

The growing demand for energy storage, in turn, has spawned lots of companies pursuing a wide array of technologies. One of the contenders is UniEnergy Technologies (UET), based near Seattle. UET is going to market with its vanadium redox flow battery, incorporating refinements to the four-decade-old technology made by the company’s co-founders when they were at the Department of Energy’sPacific Northwest National Laboratory. The company has an experienced team, a series of innovations in vanadium electrolyte chemistry and system design, several initial customers, and ambitious plans to scale up production in the next two years. Read More…


UW Breaks Last Year’s Record With 18 New Companies Formed

University of Washington C4CBy Benjamin Romano, Xconomy Seattle

The University of Washington spun out 18 startup companies in the fiscal year just ended, a record level that serves as a powerful counterpoint to recent criticism that its commercialization practices have over-emphasized revenue generation at the expense of other priorities.

This year’s class of startups follows 17 spun out last year, which the university’s Center For Commercialization (C4C) says ranked the UW among the top three schools in the country for new company formation.

“From our record number of start-up companies generated and our No. 1 national ranking in licenses signed, to the doubling of patent applications filed annually, the University of Washington has become one of the top universities in the nation taking ideas to impact,” Linden Rhoads, who is stepping down after six years leading commercialization at the UW, said in a news release. “I recently announced that I’ll be returning to entrepreneurship, so it’s gratifying to have stayed long enough to see a second year of record results show that UW’s performance is sustainable and more.” Read More…


Avista Corp. Closes Sale of Ecova, Inc. to Cofely USA Inc.

SPOKANE, WA, Jul 01, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Avista Corp. AVA -2.37% today announced that its non-regulated subsidiary, Avista Capital, has closed on its sale of Ecova, Inc. to Cofely USA Inc., an indirect subsidiary of GDF SUEZ, a French multinational utility company. The sale price was $335 million in cash, less the payment of debt and other customary closing adjustments.

“We are pleased that we were able to complete this transaction with Cofely USA smoothly and in a timely manner,” said Avista Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Morris. “The time is right for a new owner to continue to grow this business and for us to monetize the value of our investment for our shareholders.”

As previously announced, we expect to use a majority of the proceeds of the sale to repurchase up to 4 million shares of Avista Corp. outstanding common stock. The sale will provide cash proceeds to Avista Corp., net of debt, payment to option and minority holders, taxes and transaction expenses of approximately $136 million and results in a net gain of about $62 million. Read More…

Events & Meetings