Go Electric of Anderson is continuing its growth trend with yet another military microgrid contract announcement, a partnership on an unmanned mobile power unit, plus safety certifications on two patented energy storage systems. Company CEO Lisa Laughner says growth of the company workforce is now also on the horizon.
On the heels of a summer announcement of a $1.7 million contract to provide a battery storage system for the microgrid at the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, Laughner says Go Electric announced another microgrid partnership at the Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan. The company will deliver equipment to the Augusta location in the fourth quarter of 2017 with a project demonstration set for the first quarter of 2018.
She’s also excited about collaborating with Muncie startup DD DANNAR, LLC, to develop a multi-use energy conversion system for DANNAR’s Mobile Power Station (MPS). Laughner describes the MPS as an unmanned, off-road vehicle designed for a variety of activities, from infrastructure maintenance to disaster response.
“You can use it in logging, you can use it in utility repair, you can put a backhoe or a loader on it and do remote construction,” explains Laughner. “So if you’re going into an unsafe area, you can operate this with our battery and microgrid system. Since we can also support grid resiliency, they can use that same device to provide power to a small community if the utility goes down.”
Go Electric is currently preparing for a pilot demonstration with Hawaiian Electric at the utility’s facility at Diamondhead on the island of Oahu. Additionally, the company’s LYNC DR and LYNC Secure Energy Storage Solutions were recently certified for UL safety and performance requirements. Navigant’s newly released Military Microgrids has also named Go Electric a “key industry player,” alongside GE, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin.
Laughner is just as focused on growing her team as she is on growing the company. She says with Go Electric being short-listed on many contracts and with early-stage production of the company’s Solutions ramping up, garnering funding to expand the employee base is critical. Go Electric currently employs about 26 full- and part-time employees, primarily at its Anderson hub, but also in offices in New York and Hawaii. She’d like to see that expand to about 85 over the next five years. She says scoring another round of B funding in the $15 million range would also allow for the Solutions to be certified for sale around the world.
“What we make is both a hardware and a software solution,” she explains. “We can sell it as a hardware solution, which is what our military customers buy, but our utility customers and their end users – like grocery stores and manufacturing companies – don’t have to buy it. We can give it away for free if the utility has a Demand Response program, and the utility company pays us to support that program. We provide the service and the energy resiliency, we still own and operate the hardware.”
Laughner has been pleased with Go Electric’s workforce development, seeing the Anderson region as rich in a culture that has long supported the automotive industry and battery technology.
“Indiana is well-prepared to grow this sector, because of the university asset that’s already in place, and also because of the existing companies that are already doing something in this arena. You have a lot of workforce talent that can grow the sector.”
Go Electric CEO Lisa Laughner explains Hawaii’s search for innovative energy storage.