Campbell, Calif.- based Concentric Power is expanding its reach across the state, with aims to expand throughout North America.
“Our mission is to provide the most efficient energy systems possible and a pathway ultimately to be as renewable as possible as well, potentially to 100% renewable,” CEO Brian Curtis said.
The privately held company has a board of directors that includes investors from the ag and energy sectors, he said.
Much of what the company has done is using natural gas-oriented co-generation, with high-profile projects at Taylor Farms and True Leaf Farms.
Many of the company’s projects are tied directly to the ammonia refrigeration systems, taking waste heat from the co-generation system and driving refrigeration processes.
While the company’s work at Taylor Farms and True Leaf are the only projects announced so far, he said the company has been a part several other good-sized projects that have either been built or are in progress now. And interest continues to pour in, Curtis said.
“Our initial customers (were) all fresh vegetable processors,” he said.
Ultimately, customers are looking for cost savings, sustainability, and energy independence.
“(Energy independence) is also important for just about every customer — being able to control your energy spend and also have reliability inn the face of outages, that’s actually turning out to be an important piece of what we do.”
Besides providing the hardware, Concentric Power also provides advance controls that maximize energy savings in cold storage operations. The firm’s business model also includes long-term service agreements, he said.
“The way we look at it is we’re long-term operating partners with our customers,” he said.
“It’s not just about getting it built and walking away, but getting it build then being on the ground as an operational partner for the long haul,” he said.
Curtis said long term reliability is the cornerstone of successful projects, he said.
The company, started about nine years ago, has been picking up traction in the past three years, he said.
With California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, filing for bankruptcy earlier in the year, Curtis said more companies are aware of their vulnerability to rising energy costs.
“Energy costs are going up 6% to 10% a year for the last nine years and there is no end in sight,” he said.
Energy costs are outstripping other input costs for California businesses.
Because energy is an acute pain point in California, the state offers ample opportunities to grow in coming years.
“California is a big market, but (what we do) makes sense in a lot of places,” he said.
“We look at North America as the market we are going after.”