Camarillo-based Cool Planet Energy Systems, one of the fastest-rising startups in the region, may relocate its headquarters and build a factory in the Denver area.
The company has designed a mechanical system that uses heat and pressure to turn feedstocks such as grass into gasoline-blendable fuels, generating a byproduct called biochar that can be used as a soil additive to sequester carbon. The company has received more than $24.3 million from big name investors such as General Electric, Google Ventures, BP and ConocoPhillips.
On April 11, Colorado Economic Development Commission voted unanimously to offer Cool Planet as much as $3.1 million in job-growth tax incentives, according to the Denver Business Journal. The company is also considering Texas as a possible location, according to the business journal.
Mike Rocke, vice president of business development for Cool Planet, told the Pacific Coast Business Times that the move “isn’t relocating, it’s more of an expansion.” Cool Planet plans to manufacture units the size of a standard shipping container that can be daisy-chained together to form local and regional fuel production sites.
Rocke said that as the company scales up manufacturing efforts for nationwide distribution, a location such as Colorado makes better business sense than California. “It’s more of a central location for putting the plants out, and it’s easer to ship going east or west,” he said.
While a handful of executives will move to the new headquarters, Rocke said that Cool Planet will keep its Camarillo facility, which has about 90 employees, as a research and development center.
“The plan is to continue to do R&D in Camarillo,” Rocke said. “That facility will stay, but as we go commercial we’re looking for other places to put both a headquarters and a manufacturing facility.”