Building a More Energy-Resilient Future Series #2


Energy Resiliency Through Expertise

In the previous entry in this series, we discussed energy resilience through performance. In this entry, we explain the importance of energy resiliency through expertise.


Decarbonizing our energy is the only path to combat climate change. But obstacles like location, costs, and technological capabilities have historically made it difficult to achieve this goal for many communities. The traditional grid and power structures were not designed for the renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DERs) necessary for decarbonization, creating additional interconnection challenges. However, Heila has changed this by balancing the harmony of various software and hardware tools to manage energy distribution appropriately.


Heila’s EDGE Platform does this and more, providing flexibility and energy resiliency above and beyond the current grid network while also giving users actionable insights and control over their energy system. Simply put, the Heila EDGE enables the connection and customization of the entire energy system. Making something so complex into something so simple has long been a hurdle for energy solution providers, which is why Heila had to shift the paradigm and innovate an easier solution. And that meant taking it back to theory.


Sustainability Through Specialized Thinking

Heila Technologies achieved what others couldn’t because of its origins, which take us to MIT’s electrical engineering and computer science department, home to some of the world’s foremost thinking on clean and sustainable energy. Our hard work in academia delivered not only the technical knowledge required but the theoretical knowledge as well. Heila was founded on the idea that developing the right technology is only part of the equation, and that theory was the often-overlooked piece for perfection. 


Like others in the industry, Heila understands that creating clean energy systems is key to massive change. But unlike others, we know that deep theory and intense modeling are the necessary precursors to success. This approach meant perfecting the design internally before taking it to the field. And the result? Breakthrough innovation.


Putting Theory to Work to Strengthen Energy Resilience Through Expertise

We built the EDGE Platform with the notion that complex systems and behaviors can emerge from the interaction of simple elements. This design allows for scalability and adaptability to changing circumstances and empowers end users by creating an environment for easy operations and controls. Essentially, turning something that was once impossible to grasp into something tangible for all. And this was precisely the approach Heila implemented when partnering with Stone Edge Farm.


Stone Edge Farm launched in 2013 as an organic farming operation. However, these ambitious conservation efforts soon led to an interest in incorporating energy efficiency and onsite clean energy resources. Enter Heila and the goal to create a fully sustainable and energy-independent farming enterprise, which required an evolving and fully operational microgrid. 


For Heila, this meant putting theory to the test to strengthen energy resiliency through expertise, and what a test it was—resulting in a new, revolutionary control technology that increased the value of emergent intelligence algorithms going forward. This platform, which was more distributed and autonomous than any of its kind, organized diverse assets within a single system, making it both environmentally and economically efficient. And yet, this was merely the beginning, as it was awarded the MIT Clean Energy Prize in 2016. Later that year, this solution was recognized by the US Department of Energy’s University Cleantech Prize after competing with 21 other startups, establishing a new prototype for controls and optimization technology.


And while the work was groundbreaking, Stone Edge Farm wanted to go further with Heila, ultimately adding 20 separate DER assets to their energy system. Not only was Heila up to the challenge, but this fieldwork never caused us to lose sight of our deep theory applications. For Heila, every aspect of the project should consider and apply theory. Therefore, the team working on the Stone Edge Farm microgrid, which involved more than 70 interns, was encouraged to explore how new forms of logic could make a microgrid work even more efficiently. After all, the work is never done for a farm located in a region plagued by wildfires, and sustainability goals continually need to be met. 


Welcome to Kohler

Heila’s ambition was escalating in scale, and Kohler arrived with support. This relationship has resulted in us having a startup’s heart and an energy leader’s strength. As part of Kohler, Heila will be able to bring innovations to market at an unprecedented scale while still operating as the flexible, personal experts we’ve always been. This mix of support and autonomy will enable us to continue putting our ingenuity to good use in as many places as possible while we help build a more sustainable and resilient future.


Want to learn more about how Heila continues to strengthen energy resiliency through expertise and innovative solutions? Reach out to us today.


And be sure to follow us on social media and check back soon for the next installment in this Building a More Energy-Resilient Future series.