EkoStinger CEO Parr Wiegel holds a Clean Energy Competition trophy after his company claimed the $1 million grand prize in New York.

EkoStinger snags $1 million prize in Clean Energy contest

Sept. 26, 2018
The Rochester NY-based manufacturer of under-trailer aerodynamic devices was named the $1 million grand-prize winner at the competition in New York.

EkoStinger cleaned up at the 76West Clean Energy Competition in New York. 

The Rochester NY-based manufacturer of under-trailer aerodynamic devices was named the $1 million grand-prize winner at the competition, which focuses on supporting and growing clean energy businesses.

“We are very humbled and proud of this award,” said Steve Smith, executive vice president of EkoStinger. “This award validates all of the hard work and dedication each and every employee at EkoStinger has put forth. It also validates the decision our customers have made in choosing EkoStinger as their fuel savings product of choice.

“We look forward to expanding our operation and continuing to focus on manufacturing quality, competitively priced aero products while delivering the highest level of customer service.”

EkoStinger also said it will expand its operations to the Southern Tier region of the state. The competition complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s strategy for generating economic growth.

“The 76West Competition is attracting some of the most innovative entrepreneurs to the Southern Tier, spurring economic growth while advancing our State’s clean energy economy,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Congratulations to EkoStinger and the rest of the 76West winners who are bringing jobs to this region and ensuring New York remains at the forefront of the fight against climate change.”

The competition awarded a total of $2.5 million to six innovative companies. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the winners at an awards ceremony Tuesday in Binghamton that included more than 100 elected officials, entrepreneurs and local business leaders. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority administers the competition.

As a condition of the award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier, such as supply chain, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that stimulate wealth creation and create jobs.

“The 76West Competition is an example of creative economic development strategies spurring start-ups in the industries of the future,” Hochul said. “We're incentivizing clean energy innovation to create more jobs and opportunities in the Southern Tier and throughout the state.”

EkoStinger says its under-trailer device, which moves with a trailer’s rear-wheel tandem, is the world’s only active aerodynamic trailer system.

“Side Skirts and mid-mount systems present issues when navigating steep loading docks, confined and crowded loading areas,” the company says on its website. “The EkoStinger was specifically engineered to eliminate these issues because the system is designed to have the lowest component 30” in front of the rear wheels, leaving the center section of the trailer open to its usual height.”

The active, two-part system is designed to prevent road spray from contacting the floor of the trailer. It consists of an undercarriage Arrow Unit and a Cross-Member Cover, which enhances airflow.

EkoStinger says its system provides multiple benefits, including consistent fuel savings, increased traffic safety and trailer wear protection.

“I congratulate all of the awardees and finalists on their success in this competition and look forward to seeing them continue to thrive in the Southern Tier,” said Alicia Barton, NYSERDA president and CEO.

The 76West winners are:

$1 million grand prize winner

  • EkoStinger - Rochester NY: Manufactures under-trailer aerodynamic devices for tractor trailers that reduce emissions and save fuel.

$500,000 award winner

  • Hub Controls - Dublin, Ireland: Creates smart energy products for the home that empower households to manage their utility bills. 

$250,000 award winners

  • Connexus Controls - Albany NY: Provides an internet-connected platform that enables heating and cooling contractors to increase energy efficiency by managing customer systems.
  • PassiveLogic - Holladay UT: Enables buildings to be more energy efficient with its automated building control system.
  • Southern Tier Technologies - Endwell NY: Creates energy optimization products to help customers reduce carbon emissions and reduce utility bill costs.
  • Switched Source - Detroit MI: Produces distribution-scale power electronics that increase the penetration of renewable energy on the grid.