WEST LEBANON, N.H., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- SustainX, Inc., a New Hampshire-based startup developing a utility-scale compressed air energy storage technology, has announced Thomas M. Zarrella as its president, chief executive officer and director. Mr. Zarrella will oversee the transition of SustainX technology from its R&D phase to commercialization.
Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for GT Solar, Inc. and was instrumental in managing the company's growth in the global photovoltaic marketplace. During that time, he positioned GT Solar as a leading worldwide supplier of photovoltaic equipment and services. He led them through several liquidity events, culminating in a $500 million initial public offering in July of 2008. On June 24, 2008 Mr. Zarrella was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, which is presented to candidates who have demonstrated professional excellence, extraordinary success in innovation, and financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
Previously, Zarrella served more than 25 years in the international operations of high technology manufacturing companies, including RWE Schott Solar, where he successfully transitioned the company from an R&D operation to a full-scale manufacture of photovoltaic products. He also served in various management and engineering positions at the North American Operations of Instron Corp., and at Revere Corp. (a division of Allied Signal), Sprague Meter (a division of Textron, Inc.) and Sikorsky Aircraft (a division of United Technologies).
Mr. Zarrella holds a BSME degree from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from the University of Bridgeport. He is a native of Waterbury, CT.
Mr. Zarrella commented, "I am excited for the opportunity to lead and grow this leading edge energy storage company. Energy storage is a crucial part of our energy future and SustainX has all the right ingredients to be a major player in this exciting industry."
SustainX has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and U.S. DOE as well as equity investments from top-tier venture investors Polaris Venture Partners and Rockport Capital.
Speaking for Polaris, Mr. Terrance McGuire was quoted as saying, "We are extremely pleased to have Thomas Zarrella, a seasoned leader stepping in at this time to assist SustainX in reaching its full potential." Mr. David Prend, a Partner with Rockport Capital Partners, added, "Mr. Zarrella's extensive experience in developing and commercializing technology for the energy sector will greatly help SustainX going forward."
SustainX's transformative energy-storage technology, which the company terms ICAES™ (for Isothermal Compressed-Air Energy Storage), uses electrical energy to compress air near-isothermally (i.e., at approximately constant temperature), stores it aboveground in commercial gas storage containers, and expands it near-isothermally to generate electricity. No fuel is involved. The company's competitive advantages stem from their proprietary thermodynamic innovations, a design centered on mature industrial components, and reliance on an ambient-temperature, nontoxic working fluid (air).
SOURCE SustainX, Inc.