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Ener1, Inc. (Nasdaq: HEV), a leading American manufacturer of large-format lithium-ion battery systems for automotive and utility grid energy storage applications, has appointed Bruce Curtis, former Vice President of Program Development at First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), global President of the New York-based company's grid storage business.
"Rapidly accelerating adoption worldwide of lithium-ion technology for grid storage compels us to bring on board the best talent available to take full advantage of this tremendous market opportunity," said Ener1 Chairman and CEO Charles Gassenheimer. "As a highly innovative thinker with 24 years of experience in the electricity and energy industries, and having a proven track record of business start-up successes, Bruce is perfectly suited for the job." After First Solar's acquisition of Turner Renewable Energy (where he was a founding partner), Bruce led First Solar's U.S. business development and its successful entry into the U.S. wholesale power generation markets.
Ener1 is pursuing large-scale energy storage applications for the electric grid in four main segments: transmission and distribution systems, ancillary services, renewable generation integration and utility end-customers applications. The company is currently supplying five 1-MW power systems to Portland General Electric under a U.S. Department of Energy-supported smart grid program. On June 17, Ener1 signed an MOU with the Federal Grid Company of Russia to develop lithium-ion storage solutions for the country's $17-billion effort to improve the reliability and performance of the national power network. In cooperation with Itochu and Mazda in Japan, Ener1 is also developing unique systems for energy storage and electric vehicle recharging on the local level.
"Grid energy storage is simply the largest business opportunity I have yet encountered in my career, and I am thrilled to be able to participate at this stage of the industry and with Ener1 in particular," commented Curtis. "I believe that Ener1 has the technology, manufacturing capacity and special vision to take a leading role among the best technology and system solutions providers to the world electricity industry. If I sound excited it is because I am."
Ener1 is among the top producers of lithium-ion battery systems for the global electric vehicle (EV) industry and is the leading shareholder in the privately held EV maker THINK, which markets the THINK City vehicle in Europe and plans to inaugurate American manufacturing in the fall. Deutsche Bank research predicts 17% of the global auto market will be electric by 2020, equating to a $66 billion lithium-battery opportunity. Piper Jaffray estimates the global market for grid storage to be $600 billion over the next ten years.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements made in this press release constitute forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "believes," "scheduled," "estimates" and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is forecast in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and the company does not undertake any obligation to update or publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or changes in expectations after the date of this press release.
Ener1 develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. The publicly traded company (Nasdaq: HEV) is led by an experienced team of engineers and energy system experts at its EnerDel subsidiary located in Indiana. In addition to the automobile market, applications for Ener1 lithium-ion battery technology include the military, grid storage and other growing markets. Ener1 also develops commercial fuel cell products through its EnerFuel subsidiary and nanotechnology-based materials and manufacturing processes for batteries and other applications through its NanoEner subsidiary.
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