SEATTLE, May 5, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) — MicroPlanet Technology Corp. (MicroPlanet), which develops and markets voltage regulators that maximize the efficiency of electrical power grids, announced it has completed a merger and financing transaction worth $5,560,000 (including existing assets and new financing) with HF Capital Corporation, a Calgary-based Canadian capital pool company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV).
“This financing allows MicroPlanet to commercialize our products and introduce them to the energy infrastructure marketplace,” said MicroPlanet Chief Executive Officer Brian Reidy. “Based on electric utility experience and our research, MicroPlanet believes by regulating incoming line voltage its technology has the potential to reduce the amount of energy used by an average utility customer by 10 percent — decreasing the likelihood of brownouts and blackouts during the peak energy season.”
MicroPlanet’s voltage regulators tackle a big problem: they eliminate waste by delivering only the amount of voltage a user needs. Most utility customers are unaware that they receive more or less voltage than required. For instance, approximately 8 million homes in the United States consistently receive voltage below the minimum standard of 114 volts established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI standard C84.1). Conversely, as much as 90 percent of U.S. homes receive more voltage than they require. Improper voltage affects the lifespan of household appliances and can lead to increased monthly utility bills. By delivering only the necessary voltage to the user, MicroPlanet’s voltage regulators can decrease electricity bills, increase the life of electrical appliances and improve reliability of service to utility customers. The technology also eliminates wasted electricity and decreases capital and operating costs for utilities.
On April 8, HF Capital announced the completion of a business combination with the Seattle-based, MicroPlanet. The combination constituted the qualifying transaction of HF Capital for the purposes of Policy 2.4 of the TSX Venture Exchange. At a meeting of shareholders held on April 28, the shareholders of the merged company approved among other items, a name change of the company to MicroPlanet Technology Corp. and elected a slate of directors comprised of S. David Freeman, Elwood “Woody” Howse Jr., Brett Ironside, Stuart O’Connor, Darrell Peterson, Brian Reidy, Gary Swofford and Myron Tetreault. By a bulletin to be issued on Thursday (May 5), the TSXV will announce that the company is no longer a capital pool company and is listed as a Tier 1 issuer on the exchange.
“Our products provide precise voltage regulation by resolving typical utility operating problems at the point of consumption – the consumers’ homes or businesses. It’s a solution that is easy, reliable and inexpensive for everyone involved,” said Reidy.
In addition to making energy use more efficient, MicroPlanet’s voltage regulators can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. For instance, the typical U.S. home uses 10,000 kilowatts per hour (kwhs) per year, emitting about 2.5 pounds of greenhouse gases per kilowatt hour. With the MicroPlanet HVRà¢â€ž-, this average residence would successfully reduce its energy consumption — and the emission of greenhouse gas by about one ton per year.
Reidy added, “Equally important as boosting efficient energy usage, MicroPlanet’s voltage regulators can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which are created when fossil fuels are burned to create electricity. Our technology offers every user of electricity — from individual homeowners to large businesses — a way to reduce greenhouse gases without requiring significant changes in consumption behavior.”
MicroPlanet decided to list the company on the TSXV because of the favorable attitude in Canada toward pioneering energy technology companies — a point of view Reidy believes stems from Canada’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.
“As a result,” Reidy said, “Canadian leadership, financial markets and utility regulators are coming together in unprecedented ways to aggressively promote technologies that can reduce greenhouse gases while promoting energy efficiency. This multi-million dollar public financing underscores the vision apparent in Canada today.”
MicroPlanet chose to capitalize through a merger with a capital pool company (CPC) because of the amount of capital involved and the advantages of gaining access to public capital markets at an accelerated pace, Reidy explained.
CPCs are exclusive to the TSXV. They act as publicly listed companies in Canada with no assets other than cash that is used to acquire existing operating businesses. Following the merger with a CPC, the combined company operates as a publicly traded company. In completing this financing, HF Capital has changed its name to MicroPlanet Technology Corp. and trades under the listing (TSXV:MP).
MicroPlanet’s innovative products are able to improve the effectiveness of existing electric grids through four key applications: resolving low voltage, eliminating voltage flicker, boosting energy conservation and integrating distributed generation products (e.g., solar, wind, fuel cells) into the transmission/distribution infrastructure.
MicroPlanet’s proprietary products include its:
— Low Voltage Regulatorà¢â€ž- (“LVRà¢â€ž-“), which provides a cost-effective and fast resolution to chronic low voltage and many voltage flicker problems primarily by boosting voltage at the point of consumption (e.g., the home or business).
— High Voltage Regulatorà¢â€ž- (“HVRà¢â€ž-“), which provides an energy efficiency tool that can be rapidly deployed for peak load reduction, conservation and an interface for distributed generation such as fuel cells, wind turbines, solar devices or microturbines. The HVRà¢â€ž- reduces energy consumption by improving the efficiency of the existing connection to the utility distribution infrastructure and can help reduce operating and capital expenditures for electric utilities by reducing exposure to the spot market for power and offering a significantly lower cost alternative to traditional generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.
— Enterprise Voltage Regulatorà¢â€ž- (EVRà¢â€ž-) and Enterprise Voltage Regulator 3Pà¢â€ž- (EVR 3Pà¢â€ž-), which are sold to large corporations to help reduce electrical consumption, lower monthly electricity bills and increase the life span of electrical equipment.
There are already several pilot projects and business opportunities for MicroPlanet’s innovative technology. Among them:
— Utilities in the United States and United Kingdom have purchased and installed LVRsà¢â€ž- to successfully resolve customer complaints related to low voltage and voltage flicker.
— The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (the “NEEA”), an organization funded and managed by electric utilities, has purchased 500 HVRsà¢â€ž- for 10-15 of its Pacific Northwest members as part of a large-scale technology transfer project.
— The HVRà¢â€ž- is being used to manage a voltage interface problem related to an installed wind turbine (e.g., distributed generation) in the Northeastern United States.
— A large public utility district in California has agreed to fund a pilot program featuring the MicroPlanet EVRà¢â€ž-.
MicroPlanet’s products are the first of their type to be tested and certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), to Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standards for the U.S. market and to CSA standards for the Canadian market. The CSA tested and certified the HVRà¢â€ž- and LVRà¢â€ž- to UL standards for the U.S. market and to CSA standards for the Canadian market. The associated Utility Pendantà¢â€ž- and MicroPlanet Meter Boxà¢â€ž- interfaces also were tested and certified by CSA to UL standards for the U.S. market. The HVR, LVR, Utility Pendant and MicroPlanet Meter Box conform to National Electrical Code (NEC) and Canadian Electrical Code (CEC).
About MicroPlanet Technology Corp. [ www.microplanetltd.com ]
Based in Seattle, Washington, MicroPlanet Technology Corp. manufactures and sells products for electrical energy conservation and voltage compliance. MicroPlanet’s Low Voltage Regulatorà¢â€ž- (LVRà¢â€ž-) and High Voltage Regulatorà¢â€ž- (HVRà¢â€ž-) regulate the voltage delivered to a business or home, reducing the amount of electricity needed. The products also provide electric utilities a new tool for peak load reduction, conservation, low voltage mitigation and an interface for distributed generation. In 2005, MicroPlanet plans to introduce its new Enterprise Voltage Regulatorà¢â€ž-s (EVRà¢â€ž- and EVR 3Pà¢â€ž-), which will be sold directly to large corporations for reducing electricity costs.