This month, Infinite Energy, Gainesville’s only privately-owned natural gas and electricity provider—celebrates 25 years of being in business.
“We couldn’t imagine calling anywhere but Gainesville home,” said Darin Cook, co-founder and co-CEO of the company. “We’re so proud to be part of this community, and we hope we’ll be fortunate enough to enjoy many more years here.”
The company, which provides retail natural gas and electricity in five states, began its operations in downtown Gainesville in the Vidal building with just the two founders. Today it employs more than 300 people in the Gainesville area and is routinely recognized as one of the best places to work in the state and in the nation.
“I think that’s because we all care about each other,” said Rich Blaser, Infinite Energy’s other co-founder and co-CEO. “That shows in our work ethic, the quality of what we produce here and how we all treat each other. It’s like a big family, and that extends out into the community, too.”
Several years ago, Infinite Energy began focusing on childhood education as part of its ongoing corporate citizenship effort. Each year, it gives scholarships and grants, holds school food and supply drives and offers each employee up to eight hours of paid volunteer time.
“We’re not just building a company,” Blaser said. “We’re helping build a stronger community.”
And Infinite continues to grow. At the end of the year, the company will begin construction on a new 33,740-square-foot building to replace an older, smaller building already located on Infinite Energy’s 5-acre campus.
Walker Architects designed the new building, and CHW Professional Consultants performed its surveying, civil engineering and landscape architecture. Moses Engineering performed the MEPF engineering, and Wayland Structural Engineering performed the structural engineering. Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI) will manage construction, which should be finished in early 2021.
Plans include a solar-panel-covered roof, a state-of-the-art emergency generator and a 2,000-square-foot employee café. Cook said a 25thanniversary time capsule will also be on display inside, as a final touch.
“We’re excited about the new building,” Cook said. “It’s going to give us more space and help make things even more efficient. It’s a coincidence that construction will begin the same year we’re celebrating 25 years, but it’s also symbolic of our growth and all the great things we hope to achieve in the future.”