County sees business growth

In the past week, Schenectady County's Metroplex Authority announced two new areas of growth to the region: the move of Malta-based Advanced Energy Conversion, LLC, to the city, and the expansion of the Crosstown Plaza Ocean State Job Lot store.

I guess when we decided we needed more space we started looking around and it seemed like the best opportunity for us, said David A. Torrey, Chief Technology Officer at Advanced Energy Conversion. "Beyond just the space issue it's going to be nice to be a lot closer to Union College."

Torrey is on the Union Graduate College advisory board where he teaches three graduate courses in the electrical engineering program.

"One of my engineers also teaches in that program, so I think by being closer to Union, there will be some additional linkages that will naturally arise from that," said Torrey. "It would be a lot more convenient to make use of interns and perhaps start setting up some kind of project program for both undergraduate and graduate students."

Torrey listed other benefits of relocating, including closer proximity to customers based out of Oneonta and Niskayuna, and it will also provide a shorter commute for many of the company's employees.

Advanced Energy Conversion grew out of the electric power-engineering program at RPI. For the past five years, the company has been located at the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park operated by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in Malta.

The company has signed a lease for 10,300 square feet at 450 Front St., which is already home to Automated Dynamics, another Schenectady"based technology company. Eleven full-time employees will relocate from Malta to Schenectady, and the company expects employment to increase to 15 by 2011.

Once the company moves, it will begin production on its first proprietary product, an inverter for residential solar photovoltaic systems.

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