Obama Touts ARC Energy Which Could Help Slash LED Lighting Costs

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12:00:44 pm on February 3, 2010

At a recent rally in New Hampshire, Barack Obama specifically mentioned LED lighting and described a company that could help to slash the cost of LED lighting.  I did a little research and discovered the company he was referring to is privately held Arc Energy LLC of Nashua, NH.  Its founder, Kedar Gupta is no stranger to cleantech success, having founded GT Solar (SOLR) with just $1000 and cashing out a few years ago.

Here’s the portion of the speech highlighting Arc Energy

“That is why jobs will be our number one focus in 2010. And we’re going to start where most new jobs do – with small businesses. These are the companies that begin in basements and garages when an entrepreneur takes a chance on his dream, or a worker decides it’s time she became her own boss. They’re companies like ARC Energy, which I visited earlier today. These folks are hard at work on a new manufacturing process for ultra-efficient LED lights that will make them affordable for ordinary people. The technology they’ve created is the only of its kind in the world. They’re this little business in a condo out on Amherst Street, and they have the potential to revolutionize an industry. Right here in Nashua.

Small businesses like ARC Energy have created roughly 65 percent of all new jobs over the past decade and a half. And I think we should make it easier for them to open their doors, expand their operations, and hire more workers. That’s why I’ve proposed a new tax credit for more than one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages – and a tax incentive for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. And while we’re at it, we should eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, so these folks can get the capital they need to grow and create jobs.”

I had to do some digging to locate ARC Energy’s web site and eventually had to call them to find it.  Considering both the products and news pages say “we are in stealth mode”, it’s clear the company wants to operate under the radar for now.. but the visit by Obama has certainly put them on the map now!

According to the about page, ARC Energy LLC (or Advanced Renewable Energy Company) was founded in 2007 to develop automated sapphire crystal growth and processing equipment to significantly reduce the cost to manufacture LED lighting.  The company was initially funded by its founder Kedar Gupta, but is now receiving funding from venture capital firm General Catalyst and Citizens Bank.

While GreenStocksCentral.com focuses on publicly traded green companies, it will be interesting to follow the progression of ARC Energy and perhaps one day I’ll be writing about their IPO.

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Comments  

ARC in their efforts for trying to develop cheaper sapphire LED substrates, is courageous but not in line with the focus of the LED die industry, which is to use silicon as a substrate. By definition silicon is cheaper than sapphire and a better thermal conductor as well. However I wish them success.

 

Dr. Deak,
Thank you for the well wishes. While you are technically correct about the thermal conductivity, we all know that one property does not a success story make. The main reason people have done research in silicon as a substrate is because of the high cost of large diameter sapphire. There is great semiconductor processing equipment available for 6″ and greater wafers, but traditional methods of making sapphire are not cost effective to make these sizes. ARC Energy believes we can be an industry enabler to bring the LED industry into the 6″-8″ semiconductor-scale era, thus eliminating the need for continued difficult development efforts of GaN on silicon.
Thanks again,
Dr. Rick Schwerdtfeger
CTO
ARC Energy

 
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