the (new) american worker

Bloom Energy Hiring Former Auto Workers
February 28, 2010, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Auto | Tags: , , , , ,

If you watched CNBC last week – or any other major news channel – you probably caught a glimpse of the fanfare-filled launch of Bloom Energy. Bloom’s new Energy Server, one of Silicon Valley’s most buzzed about new products, recently emerged from what the San Jose Business Journal called the “stealthiest stealth modes” the Valley has ever seen.

Bloom Energy founder K.R. Sridhar (far right) says his company's Energy Servers will be "bigger than the Internet" - and he's hiring former auto workers to help him build them.

Last Friday, CNBC ran a clip of the giddy founder claiming his product may be “bigger than the Internet.” A classic overstatement maybe, though Bloom does have some pretty big clients waiting for its goods, including the folks at Google and Walmart.

Claims of one-upping the greatest technological innovation of the 21st century makes for a pretty good story. But, after a little research, I decided that the better part of this story is the company’s active interest in hiring laid-off auto workers to help it continue to build server technology.

SJBJ spoke with a Bloom executive who acknowledged the company has already hired former auto workers for its manufacturing departments.

“We need to develop the capacity to meet the demand, and there’s a lot of growth opportunity and room for growth in manufacturing and other jobs,” Bloom marketing vice president Stu Aaron told SJBJ.

The Bloom Energy Server, “a 10-ton gray box roughly the size of a parking space,” says SJBJ, is an off-the-grid power source that has the capacity to run entirely on biofuels, making it completely emissions free. Biofuels are converted into electricity through a sophisticated fuel cell Bloom has created from solid oxide, far more efficient than current cell technology. Ebay, which already uses five servers, announced last fall that these five servers create more electricity than the 3,000 solar panels already installed on its grounds.

–Mia Lamar