How about microgrids as a service?
By Jesse Berst
Quick Take: At first glance, the press release on page 2 is simply the merger of two small but highly regarded smart grid firms. But look under the surface and you see at least two important trends.
The first is the growing strength of the microgrid trend. Oh sure, mainstreaming is still two or three years away, but many people now believe microgrids will be a large part of our energy future. More importantly, many people are now underway on pilots and small deployments.
The second is the idea of microgrid-as-a-service. Think about it. Yes, you need some physical components installed on site. But the command-and-control function could easily be handled in the cloud as long as there was provision for on-site control in the event of an outage of the big grid.
For this approach to succeed, it needs several key elements. First is microgrid know-how, as personified by Horizon Energy, one of the firms in the merger. Second is an enterprise platform that allows the creation of plug-and-play code modules to customize and extend the core services. That piece comes from Green Energy.
The third piece is capital -- the money to fund part or all of the upfront costs, so the customer can simply pay by the month. The closer a company can come to a "leasing" model that minimizes upfront costs, the easier it will be for power-hungry businesses -- hospitals, campuses, office parks, shopping centers, financial services centers, data centers, military bases, agricultural operations, factories -- to sign up.
If microgrids-as-a-service catches on, expect to see the big companies step into the market where their balance sheets give them a financial advantage. Meanwhile, the new combination company described on the next page has emerged as an early thought leader.
Read more on microgridsâ€¦
Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid News.com, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.
Green Energy Corp Announces Merger
with Horizon Energy Group and Horizon Microgrid Solutions
Raleigh, North Carolina â€“ April 4, 2013: Green Energy Corp is pleased to announce its merger with Horizon Energy Group and its sister company Horizon Microgrid Solutions (together Horizon). The transaction closed on March 8, 2013. The merged companies will operate as Green Energy Corp with headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. This merger bolsters Green Energy Corp's position in the rapidly growing microgrid marketplace as Horizon has established itself as a preeminent developer of microgrid solutions. The combined company has the capability to design, build and operate microgrids of any size that provide our customers with sustainable locally produced power. The company is currently engaged in the design, development, and operation of microgrids with utilities, university campuses, commercial and industrial customers and multi-family housing developments.
Microgrids are small-scale power production and delivery systems comprised of distributed generation facilities co-located with the loads they serve. Microgrids incorporate multiple types of energy generation, storage and loads, allowing for high utilization of renewable energy resources, thereby creating economic and environmental benefits to its customers. Microgrids are able to be connected to the Utility grid to purchase power from the grid or sell power back to the grid as conditions dictate. Microgrids can be designed to operate "islanded" when the Utility grid is not available, continuing to provide sustainable power to its local customer base, as observed in the Northeast during Hurricane Sandy.
Green Energy Corp has established an â€œenterprise platformâ€ to package complete solutions for sustainable management of power, water and agriculture. A key element of our strategy is full-service implementation of microgrids. In addition to building and operating microgrids for our electricity customers, we offer toolsets that enable third party developers to create premier microgrid solutions. Our flagship product, GreenBusÂ®, provides the platform to deliver Microgrids as a Service (MaaS) to the marketplace.
"The combination of Horizon's expertise in microgrids, the GreenBusÂ® and the enterprise platform enables us to take a lead position in one of the hottest markets today. We are now able to create world-class microgrid solutions optimized to customer specific needs," stated Peter Gregory, Founder and Chairman of Green Energy Corp.
"In 2010 and 2011 we conducted an extensive analysis for best-in-class software to monitor and control our microgrids. We selected the GreenBusÂ® because of its open source approach, scalability, cloud-based architecture and the experience of the Green Energy Corp team in delivering software to the utility industry," said Steve Pullins, Founder and CEO of Horizon Energy Group.
About Green Energy Corp
Green Energy Corp ( www.greenenergycorp.com ) is a full-service provider of sustainable power, water and agriculture systems (Ecosystems) for localized communities. The company has established an Enterprise Platform comprised of engineering, software technology, financing, construction, operations and maintenance for industrial, commercial and residential based Ecosystems. The foundation of the Ecosystem is the renewable-centric microgrid. The companyâ€™s GreenBusâ„¢ and Microgrids as a Service (â€œMaaSâ€) products are based on open source software, cloud computing, and extreme scalablity â€“ allowing Green Energy Corp to rapidly deploy microgrids and complete Ecosystems.
About Horizon Energy Group
Horizon Energy Group ( www.horizonenergygroup.com ) is a leader in microgrid design and implementation. Our advanced design for optimizing microgrid operations for economic, reliability, and emissions objectives is recognized throughout the industry as the way of the future. The company has been recognized as a Company to Watch in Perfect Power by Bob Galvin and Kurt Yeager, and Top 100 Movers and Shakers in the Smart Grid Movement by GreenTech Media. Horizon is the leading designer of utility and campus microgrids with thirteen projects to date, and one of the leading developers in the US, currently building its fourth microgrid.
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