Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) Expands National Network with New Chapter in Arkansas

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) Joins Existing AEE Chapters in Colorado, Illinois, New England and Ohio

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business organization promoting U.S. companies as global suppliers of innovative energy technologies and solutions, today announced the addition of its latest state chapter, the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA).

AAEA, which launched in November 2011, is dedicated to growing Arkansas's economy by expanding the state's workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. The organization includes a unique blend of manufacturers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, educators, researchers, consultants and public officials whose common interest and expertise focuses on advanced energy development and economic expansion in Arkansas. 

"The advanced energy sector represents a significant growth opportunity for Arkansas's economy," said Gary McChesney, AAEA chairman and FutureFuel Chemical Company chief technology officer. "The formation of AAEA and our partnership with Advanced Energy Economy ensures the investments our member companies made in growing the market, creating jobs and advancing energy independence will continue to thrive here in Arkansas and across the country."

"Advanced Energy Economy is a national platform for business leadership, but chapters and affiliates are the heart of AEE, working at the state level to improve the business climate for advanced energy companies," said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. "AAEA is a valuable addition to our growing national network of business organizations."

As a wind component manufacturing hub and an emerging center for biofuels production, Arkansas has seen its advanced energy industry grow faster than the overall state economy since 2003, and there are now more than 80 companies in Arkansas engaged in advanced energy production or services.  Many of these companies have been active in forming AAEA, including Nordex USA, Inc., Mitsubishi Power Systems, FutureFuel Chemical Co., NextGen Illumination and Silicon Solar Solutions, Inc.

"With worldwide energy needs projected to grow nearly 40 percent in the next two decades, advanced energy is a global business opportunity," said AEE co-founder Tom Steyer, co-chair of the non-profit Advanced Energy Economy Institute board, who attended the announcement of AAEA as an AEE chapter today in Little Rock. "To make the most of this opportunity for U.S. companies and U.S. workers, we need groups like AAEA in Arkansas and every other state, helping this vital industry grow and thrive."

AEE launched last fall for the purpose of creating a more supportive business and policy climate for the advanced energy industry. In addition to Arkansas, AEE currently has four chapters representing nine states:

  • Advanced Energy Economy Ohio, a statewide effort that includes eight state economic development groups focused on advanced energy;
  • Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, a statewide organization dedicated to promoting Colorado's cleantech industry;
  • Clean Energy Trust, based in Illinois, which is focused on accelerating the development of Midwest clean energy businesses by connecting entrepreneurs, researchers and early stage companies with the expertise and capital needed to become sustainable;
  • New England Clean Energy Council, an organization of over 400 advanced energy companies, venture investors, major financial institutions, universities, industry associations, utilities, labor and large commercial energy users in the six New England states seeking to elevate the region's clean energy economy to global leadership.

In January, AEE announced a partnership with the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) to explore how renewable energy can help the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) achieve mission objectives, save taxpayer money, and reduce risks associated with reliance on fossil fuels.  The two organizations announced a multi-part forum series to be held throughout 2012 in collaboration with the DOD to help increase U.S. military effectiveness through the integration and deployment of renewable energy solutions.

In addition, AEE recently announced several additions to its Board of Directors: Jim Rogers, Chairman, President and CEO of Duke Energy; Mike Ahearn, Chairman of First Solar; and Tom Carnahan, Founder and former CEO and Chairman of Wind Capital Group.

About AEE
Founded in 2011 by Tom Steyer of Farallon Capital Management and Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst Partners, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a business organization representing the advanced energy industry. As a business federation, AEE is dedicated to promoting a better business climate for all segments of the sector and helping American companies and workers succeed as the world transitions to a smarter energy future. AEE provides a platform for business leaders to promote the growth and expansion of advanced energy by creating a unified industry voice, establishing a national network of businesses and business organizations, and leveraging the unique assets of regions across the country. Chapters and affiliates of AEE work at the state level to help local advanced energy member businesses connect, collaborate, and grow and advocate for a better business climate for advanced energy companies.

AEE has offices in San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, and Washington, DC. For more information about AEE, please go to www.AEE.net.

About AAEA
AAEA, which was formally launched on November 8, 2011, is dedicated to growing Arkansas's economy by expanding the energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. AAEA includes a unique blend of manufacturers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, educators, researchers, consultants and public officials whose common interest and expertise focuses on advanced energy development and economic expansion in Arkansas. The AAEA seeks collaborations with public and private partners that can help achieve its mission, most recently leading the Arkansas Delta Biodiesel Consortium, which also included Arkansas State University, Mid-South Community College, Phillips County Community College University of Arkansas and FutureFuel Chemical Co.  For more information on AAEA, please go to Facebook. A website is scheduled for launch in early 2012.

SOURCE Advanced Energy Economy



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