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Computer startup leaves Lockport for Finger Lakes

Drone Energy, a startup company that spent a year testing a large computer array in the Town of Lockport Industrial Park while trying to cash in on internet cryptocurrency transactions, has relocated to the Finger Lakes.

Founder Ralph Lewis said Tuesday that he found a "five times better" deal on electricity in the Geneva area. He had tried unsuccessfully to buy power from Lockport Energy Associates, whose natural gas-burning power plant adjoins the industrial park.

Marc R. Smith, the town's economic development coordinator and an investor in Drone, said the company ended up paying regular retail electric rates. He said Drone moved out in early May, although its lease runs through June.

Lewis, a Lockport native, paid the town Industrial Development Agency $500 a month for a two-acre lot.

There, it placed a shipping container, 20 feet long, 8 feet high and 8 feet wide, stuffed with Lewis' patented "modular smart-grid technology." The company left behind a stone driveway and an electrical panel.

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