McKinstry Innovation Center Adds Two CleanTech Startups

May 4, 2010
McKinstry has announced that it has signed the first two letters of intent for the new McKinstry Innovation Center.

SEATTLE -- McKinstry, a leader in the development of smart building systems, has announced that it has signed the first two letters of intent for the new McKinstry Innovation Center, which will bring new and emerging companies together to foster the advancement of clean, green energy technologies. McKinstry is ranked as the nation’s eighth largest mechanical contractor in CONTRACTOR’s Book of Giants, with revenues of nearly $400 million.

General Biodiesel, producer of high-quality, renewable biodiesel and Hydrovolts, inventor of the in-stream hydrokinetic turbines are all slated to move into the McKinstry Innovation Center once construction is complete in mid-May.

“These cleantech firms, and others that will take up residence in our Innovation Center, are on the brink of revolutionizing the green energy efficiency market and we are excited to have them as our first two innovator tenants,” said Dean Allen, CEO of McKinstry. “This Center serves as a space for collaboration and provides firms the opportunity to quickly advance new technologies and bring them to market.”

The 24,000-sq.ft. neo-industrial offices are located at the McKinstry headquarters in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. McKinstry Innovation Center companies will have the opportunity to access the brain trust at McKinstry and the synergy between the other companies that will be working alongside of them in the center. McKinstry has had a flood of responses from cleantech firms interested in moving to the Innovation Center since announcing the development of the unique facility in October 2009.

General Biodiesel

Seattle-based General Biodiesel is currently the only commercial enterprise in Washington State to collect and transform used cooking oil, grease and animal fats into EPA registered road use biodiesel. In addition to this being the most environmentally responsible diversion of these waste streams, its low carbon RC-B100 significantly reduces diesel emissions throughout the region.

“The Innovation Center is an ideal place for us to locate General Biodiesel’s offices,” said Yale Wong, CEO/Founder. “In addition to McKinstry’s demonstrated commitment to the sustainable practices field, I am confident this co-location with other green businesses will foster synergies and opportunities to collaborate in ways we’ve not yet discovered.”

Hydrovolts invented in-stream hydrokinetic turbines that generate renewable energy from water currents. The turbines are dropped into and secured in the open channel. It is not necessary to divert the flow or construct new channels. The turbines produce one to 20 kW each depending on the current velocity. They can be scaled up and deployed in groups to make more power. The company has won several awards for its innovations and business plan.

“We’ve been chomping at the bit to take up residence in the Innovation Center,” said Hydrovolts President Burt Hamner. “The McKinstry team has great engineering capabilities to help us develop our technology. Being able to work side-by-side with them is priceless.”

McKinstry has a 50-year history of designing, building, operating and maintaining advanced mechanical, electrical, data and plumbing systems that deliver, monitor and regulate energy use. Visited by President Obama in 2008 for a tour of its cutting edge operations, the firm continues to participate in advancing cleaner energy solutions.

The McKinstry Innovation Center is located on the McKinstry campus at 5005 Third Avenue South, Seattle, Wash. 98134. For information, contact Managing Director Elsa Croonquist at McKinstry, 206/832.8049 or [email protected].

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