Meet American Entrepreneur Striving to Develop Renewable Energy in Georgia

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The FINANCIAL — “My name is Adrian Clark, I am an energy and engineering professional from the United States. I am 35 year veteran in high technology companies building products like computer processors, memory devices, LED’s and solar cells. Over the last 8 years, my focus has been in the generation and storage of electricity using renewable energy”.

Q. What is your idea?

We have created RENSTOR, an exciting new renewable energy production and storage company, based here in Tbilisi to develop a very interesting project in the area of energy storage. Its focus is to deliver low cost products and services locally by building them in a factory here in Georgia. This factory would produce state-of-the-art Zinc-Bromide batteries which is a proven, low-cost alternative to lithium-ion batteries, like the ones TESLA makes. More importantly it will create well paid, high technology jobs.

Q. Did you implement similar project in other countries?

Yes. Each member of our executive team has over 25 years’ experience in high tech manufacturing, and we have done similar projects in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Russia.

Q. Who are your business partners worldwide?

Our business partners include EOS Energy Storage, who provides the IP for the product, as well ABB, Siemens, ENERGIE, Shell, Duke Energy, ESKOM of South Africa and others.

Q. What do you need for reaching this goal?

Initially, we are seeking a minimal sum of $250,000 USD which would provide initial funding for the local Georgian office and staff. This will allow us to engage with the private and public sector agencies and stakeholders needed fulfill all the necessary documentation, procedures and requirements for acquiring the funding, permits and resources to build the factory. We also need an equity partner or partners to provide at least $10-15m which represents 50% of the required funding. The other 50% would be acquired from the co-investor.

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Q. Which organizations are ready to co-finance this project?

We have entered into negotiations with Bank of Georgia, EBRD, The Partnership Fund, Georgia Co-Investment Fund and OPIC. All have indicated a willingness to co-finance the project once we meet their criteria, which is primarily us having an equity partner from our side.

Q. What is the main obstacle preventing you from starting the project?

A. The main obstacle is lack of start-up funding to hire the Georgians for the local office that we need to get lift-off the project. We currently lack of visibility to potential investors.

Q. What are the main achievements of you and your staff in the past?

A. We have managed or participated in the construction of some of the most high tech manufacturing facilities around the world, like Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada; Intel fabrication facilities in the US and Ireland; Samsung’s facilities in Korea and Texas; I recently was facilities manager of the nanotechnology fabrication laboratory for Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi.

Q. Why energy saving battery plan is important for Georgia?

Georgia relies primarily on hydroelectric power for its electricity, due the large number of rivers that run thru the country. This also leaves the country vulnerable to critical drops in supply in the winter months, when the rivers freeze over, causing in noticeable reduction in electricity production. The country is attempting to alleviate this by diversifying electricity production thru renewable energy sources, like solar and wind. These sources are abundant but intermittent, which causes supply and stability issues for the grid. Battery storage corrects these issues and add value for the renewable energy projects and their owners.

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Q. What will be the benefit from your project?

Job creation is the number one benefit, both in terms of direct and indirect jobs. 500-700 direct jobs and up to 1500 indirect jobs will be created by the project. It will serve to help create a high tech, renewable energy diaspora across the country, and contribute to a technology driven economy.

Q. Which are the governmental organizations you met? And their response?

A. We met with deputy Ministers from the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Energy, Georgian Energy Development Fund, The Partnership Fund, Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, USAID and the US Embassy. All have pledged support for the project, but that support has not been realized in any tangible form thus far.

Q. Why you?

A. My wife is half-Georgian; I have a personal connection thru the many relatives she has here. My observations of Georgia since I have been here paints a very unflattering picture… a picture of a country made up of great people, with good hearts, strong families and hope in the face of an uncertain future. I see hundreds of Georgians driving around, working as gypsy taxi drivers-some highly educated-fighting over each other to scratch together some small amount of money, in a day-to-day, stressful struggle just to put some food on the family table, with no certainty of what they will get tomorrow. They deserve a better life now and a better future for their children.

Q. Who do you want to response to your call?

A. We need IMMEDIATE financial investment, from the government, in the form of direct start-up funding or loan guarantees, as well as any private investor with the vision to help launch this venture toward the great success we envision for Georgia.


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