Optimized Energy Networks, a startup competing today at VentureBeat’s GreenBeat conference, said it wants to bring the latest cleantech technology to customers like universities, office parks, and local governments.
Specifically, the startup creates what it calls “microgrid projects”, which combine energy generation (like rooftop solar panels and small wind power projects), storage, and controllable-energy appliances. These systems can connect to the existing electricity grid or operate on their own, and they can incorporate older technologies.
The goal, said co-founder and chief operating officer John Edwards, is to provide a one-stop shop for organizations that don’t know how to pursue their own cleantech projects because of all the fragmentation in the industry. It doesn’t build the devices itself, but rather assembles service and products from other companies. One of the competition judges asked how Optimized Energy Networks compares to energy service companies, and Edwards said there are similarities, but his company accomplishes the “hard things of reducing peak consumption.”
Edwards also acknowledged that the environment around cleantech may have chilled following Tuesday’s election, with Republicans (who are generally hostile towards environmental spending) taking control of the House. But he argued that Optimized Energy’s approach might actually be “something the GOP likes” because it’s small-scale and regional.