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2021: Realizing important energy ideals

By December 29, 2021 No Comments

by Patrick T. Lee, CEO 

2021 was another year of exciting growth and innovation for PXiSE, even while it continued to be a challenging time for the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and weather events like the Texas winter storm, Pacific Northwest heat dome, and Hurricane Ida, caused widespread tragedy and destruction. These damaging weather events, along with the landmark COP26 climate summit, highlighted the immediate need to modernize the grid.  

At PXiSE, we recognize the challenges ahead for communities grappling with an urgent need to modernize their power supply, and we’re proud to be contributing dynamic, intelligent resources that empower utilities, developers, and asset owners to meet the world’s complex, evolving energy needs.

Looking back on 2021, I’d like to reflect on some of the important energy ideals PXiSE was able to prove this year: 

Intrapreneurship in a Fortune 500 company is possible

PXiSE’s achievements prove that it’s possible to innovate like an entrepreneur from within a Fortune 500 company, as we demonstrated during our time with Sempra Energy. We achieved the sort of firsts common among nimble startups while harnessing the resources and expertise of our parent company, such as when we demonstrated a new control methodology can address existing renewable integration challenges in a Pacific Island and that a community can operate entirely on 100% solar-plus-storage-only assets. We expect to continue this trend of innovating from within as we transition to our new home among the Yokogawa group of companies. 

Base load electric generation can be replaced by distributed resources, EVs, and energy storage units provided you have intelligent, fast acting, and well-coordinated orchestration 

While our project with Horizon Power in Australia showed that a community can supplant fossil fuels with renewable resources, it also demonstrated that having intelligent software to balance these resources is a necessary part of the equation. Our grid control technology helped Horizon Power’s engineers effectively manage their distributed energy resources to operate the town’s grid without base load electric generation from the fossil fuel power plants. 

Commercializing a grid control technology to enable zero carbon or 100% renewable electric grids is now a reality 

Our intelligent grid control technology isn’t just capable of demonstrating the full potential of a completely renewable grid – it’s also something that’s available now and requires much less of an investment than costly infrastructure upgrades. Our grid hybrid power plant control, microgrid, and DERMS solutions continued to be used in many projects around the world this year, making the most of distributed renewable assets. Along with our project with Horizon Power that showed a 100% electric grid is a current reality, we also participated in two initiatives, Project EDGE and Project Symphony, that will make it easier for consumers to embrace renewables and make net-zero a reality in a shared economy. 

The complex modern power grid can be managed autonomously with minimal human supervision 

PXiSE continued to show in 2021 how grid control technology can make it possible to manage a myriad of energy assets with minimal staff. This is key for organizations and utilities that are interested in achieving their carbon reduction goals but need to manage a complex grid with a small staff. Autonomously integrated control can range from large and complex regional grids with advanced DERMS integrating with network of microgrids to a local solution. Our project with the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA), for example, will help the VTA convert the island’s buses to an all-electric fleet and manage EV chargers, energy storage, and solar panels with largely autonomous grid controls.

Becoming an inventor not once but six times in five years is achievable with the right expertise around you 

In 2021, PXiSE continued to innovate and find new ways to help our customers through the clean energy transition. Thanks to the efforts of the entire PXiSE team, we grew our patent portfolio to 16 patents, enabling us to continue growing and expanding our technologies. We were also honored to have our efforts recognized by several organizations, such as when Guidehouse named us to the Microgrid Leaderboard Top 10 and Frost & Sullivan presented PXiSE with the 2021 Customer Value Leadership Award. 

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As we look to 2022, being part of the Yokogawa Group will provide us with the tools we need to continue to expand our presence and bring our outstanding technology to customers around the world. I look forward to beginning the new year with Yokogawa and believe that together we’ll become worldwide renewable energy leaders through cutting-edge grid control technology.  

I’m grateful to everyone in the PXiSE family who’s helped make this another great year in our company’s history. Though for many in the world this has been a year of continued struggle, we hope that through our commitment to supporting the clean energy transition, we can at least help communities around the world keep their lights on as they strive for more sustainable energy resources and face the challenges of our changing world.