Rising to the Challenge: Go Electric
Go Electric has developed a system of round-the-clock power supply monitoring to eliminate surprise power interruptions.
Superstorm Sandy highlighted the vulnerability of New York City’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions without power and bringing the city to a grinding halt.
Without power, small businesses suffered greatly: servers went down, refrigeration systems turned off, and fuel station pumps were rendered useless. In the aftermath, it became clear that in order to increase energy resilience, small businesses needed to decrease their reliance on the grid. Go Electric, a green-tech company based in Anderson, Indiana, recognized this opportunity and developed a compelling solution.
Go Electric’s Blinkless Energy Resiliency System (ERS) is an energy management tool that interfaces with the grid to continuously monitor power output. When it senses an outage, ERS blinklessly switches to alternate sources of power and islands from the grid. Go Electric’s energy management solution is not only immune to grid failures, it also reduces energy costs in real-time.
Blinkless ERS pairs its continuous energy monitoring system with distributed energy assets to provide uninterruptible power that seamlessly incorporates alternative forms of energy. Be it electrical power stored in batteries or solar panels on a rooftop, the energy resources are seamlessly integrated into Blinkless ERS without the need for costly overhauls to retrofit the building. This spares the user both short-term construction costs that are typically required when upgrading energy systems and long-term energy expenditures associated with reliance on the traditional power grid.
As one of 11 winning teams of NYCEDC’s RISE : NYC competition, Go Electric will share up to $30 million with the other RISE : NYC winners to install the first commercial Blinkless ERS systems at Sandy-impacted small businesses across the city. We spoke to President and Founder Lisa Laughner about how this technology can increase resiliency and reduce load on the power grid.
Basic Facts About Go Electric
Team: Go Electric’s principal owners are Lisa Laughner, Tony Soverns and Alex Creviston (pictured above)
As CEO, Lisa brings business operations and project management expertise to the company. Tony and Alex are the technology innovators. All three have significant corporate experience in new product development and commercialization.
Name of Winning RISE : NYC Technology: Blinkless Energy Resiliency System (ERS)
About: Blinkless ERS is a smart microgrid technology that helps small businesses during a storm and in the norm: it provides power resilience during a grid outage and peak load shaving during normal grid conditions, reducing energy costs.
Technology Category: Energy Technologies, helping small businesses keep their lights on and their doors open, even when the power grid is down.
An Interview with Go Electric
When and how did you get the idea for Blinkless ERS?
We invented Blinkless ERS in 2009 to solve a problem that is common among microgrids.
When the grid goes down and distributed energy resources island, there is often a blip in a building’s power. However minimal the outage may seem, any interruption in power can be devastating—particularly for critical use facilities like hospitals or data centers. It took about two years of development and testing, but we managed to create a great solution that integrates into the existing electrical feed so that in the event of an outage backup power comes online seamlessly.
What resiliency benefit does your technology provide?
The Blinkless ERS monitors power coming off the grid 24/7 and provides uninterruptible power in any circumstance. It ensures that in the event of a brief interruption or even a big storm, critical components such as servers and data systems will remain online and operational.
In the event of a sustained power outage, businesses that provide community services can remain operational: gas stations could continue to provide fuel to residents and emergency response vehicles and grocery stores could continue to refrigerate and sell food. Decreased reliance on the power grid can help sustain a community in the face of disaster.
What type of small businesses/buildings will benefit most from your technology?
When developing our proposal for RISE : NYC, we took the unique context of New York City into consideration.
We will be installing both a more compact 30kW energy system and larger 250kW energy system through the RISE : NYC program, depending on the needs of the business. To accommodate the space constraints across the city, our modular battery system can either be stacked on the ground to save space or the batteries can be separated to lay flat on a rooftop to distribute the weight.
While all businesses and buildings could benefit from our technology, critical facilities and buildings with high peak demand charges would benefit most from our resiliency and demand management benefits.
How do programs like RISE : NYC support innovation and climate adaptive technologies like yours?
As the first commercial installation of Blinkless ERS, RISE : NYC is an early adopter of our technology.
Since being selected as a winner of RISE : NYC, we have been working to identify opportunities to replicate our technology citywide. Programs like RISE : NYC are vital to the commercialization and implementation of innovative energy technologies like Blinkless ERS as we continue to expand in the local market.
Learn more about Go Electric here.
About the Rising to the Challenge series: Eleven innovative resiliency technologies are helping to build a stronger, more resilient New York. What are they and who are the companies behind them?
This blog series shares the stories of each of the winning RISE : NYC technologies and the impact they will have on businesses and communities in New York City. Read all profiles here.