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Rochester firm lands $700,000 solar grant

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A Rochester technology firm landed a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy this week to launch a new solar power project.

The Broker Exchange Network is known for its BrokerBin website for finding new and used computer parts. Founded by Keith Litke in 2001, the quiet company is based at 32 Seventh Ave. NE.

Now, with this new $700,000 grant, it is firing up a new member-only site called EnergyBin. EnergyBin is an online platform to buy and sell solar power components for residential and commercial projects.

The $700,000 grant is part of the Dept. of Energy's SunShot Initiative to promote solar power. This grant came from the "Technology to Market 2" part of the 5-year-old SunShot program.

"We will use our proven brokerage platform to expand into the solar arena and bring companies who need solar products and components together with companies who want to sell," said Broker Exchange's Senior Vice President of Business Development Keith Bluford in the announcement of the grant.

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Broker Exchange has been working on the EnergyBin project for more than a year, said Renee Kuehl.

"EnergyBin is a similar platform to BrokerBin. We're piggybacking on our success in the IT industry to enter a new vertical market," she said

Broker Exchange has hired three new employees for EnergyBin, which brings its workforce to 37.

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