Portable Electric came out of Vancouver’s 2015 Great Climate Race. This is a “walk and run race,” with 2 kilometre and 10 kilometre events, through the city’s iconic Stanley Park. The event raises funds and awareness for local community solar-energy projects. In similar outdoor events through-out North America, the associated venues are powered by portable gas and diesel generators. Having previously installed solar plus battery systems in Africa, the Great Climate Race’s power co-ordinator knew how to resolve this apparent contradiction. After the race, Mark Rabin founded a new company to continue providing solar plus battery power to outdoor events throughout Western Canada. Portable Electric can power almost anything from music festivals, to emergency situations or film sets.
In hurricane Sandy’s wake, many places were without electricity for days. Though most hospitals have emergency power systems, some failed to work. This translates into closed doors, patients who can not be looked after and operations that cannot be performed. Now Blue Pillar has become a selected solution provider for Con Edison’s Demand Management Program, a program that will help transform New York’s hospitals into microgrids.
Most of America’s aging electric infrastructure dates back to the era when air conditioning was cutting edge technology. It is even older in the city where Thomas Edison built a power plant that serviced less than a hundred customers in 1882. New York has a power system designed to meet a peak demand 75% higher than most of the United States. They need it when people want relief from hot summer days. New York’s antiquated system loses about 9% of its’ electricity traveling from distant power plants, is vulnerable to natural gas’ price fluctuations and can be KO’d by extreme weather events like hurricane Sandy. In his search for a more viable alternative, Governor Andrew Cuomo brought Local Power to New York.