Ener1 Appoints Former Solar Industry Pioneer and Executive to Head Global Grid Storage Business

July 19, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Ener1, Inc. has appointed Bruce Curtis, former Vice President of Program Development at First Solar, Inc., 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."