NextGen Illumination Targets Cities for LED Retrofits

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 12:00 am  

“We can honestly claim to be pioneers in that area,” said Patrick Rush, NextGen’s chief legal officer and spokesman. “We started with a study conducted at the University of Arkansas of broiler house chickens. We approached them to see if they were interested in including LEDs in the study. That was five years ago, and we still work with them.”

Rush said the company is still relatively small, but it has grown since its founding.

“Our biggest news lately is that we’ve been in the process of re-shoring manufacturing from Asia to the U.S.,” he said. “There are several reasons we’ve done that. One of them is that costs are becoming more competitive. Labor is still cheaper over there, but transportation, duty and taxes, they add up. When we take that out of it, we’re getting a little closer to parity in the costs, plus we have a greater control of what’s going on, and we don’t have to wait all that time for the products to get here. If something needs to be done or adjusted in the process, it can be done quicker.”

Rush said the company’s factory is located in Stillwell, Okla., in the heart of the Cherokee Nation, with which NextGen partners.

“A lot of the people there are familiar with the gaming industry,” Rush said. “The Cherokee Nation does a lot of high-tech work, so they were a natural fit since our products are technology-based.”

Rush said the partnership and the local factory makes NextGen eligible for government contracts that it wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for.

“We’re at a bit of an advantage to say we’re made in the U.S.A.,” he said.

The company has done some outdoor lighting before, but its new municipal services aren’t being offered quite yet. NextGen will make that announcement at an energy reform conference in North Little Rock on Oct. 15 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock (see end of article for more details.)

The Plan

So how is NextGen’s financing plan going to work?

According to Jerry McCormick, vice president of operations, part of it involves a bank partnership.

“We’re using local banks that are getting more and more engaged in energy efficiency,” he said.



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