Team Alvimedica Statue of Liberty New York CityBreaking Energy featured the Top 10 New York Energy Entrepreneurs back in June as part of an extremely popular top 10 series that ran during New York Energy Week. The entrepreneurs were chosen by their energy industry peers via an open nomination process that returned a robust list of candidates. Whittling the impressive list of innovators down to only 10 was an arduous process that felt as if many deserving candidates were left out. So this series features the remaining people nominated for the New York Energy Week list and describes their companies.

MPOWERED

The first installment in the series highlights a company seeking to bring affordable solar-powered light to the billions of people around the world without access to centralized power grids. Access to electricity improves quality of life for myriad reasons. There is a wealth of data that show efficient economic development is not possible without energy and the link between advanced nations and access to electricity is very clear.

“Without electricity, water cannot be desalinized or circulated, refrigeration is not feasible, temperature-sensitive vaccines cannot be stored, controlled irrigation for agriculture is not practical, communication is limited, tourism is not attractive, and factories can’t operate competitively,” Dan Gregory, former chairman of Green Energy Corp. wrote in a white paper describing the Global Energy Model.

Electricity also enables people to read and study at night, which vastly improves educational advancement.

In their own words from the company’s website:

“We Stand for Solar Justice”

Let’s empower humanity with affordable solar light to promote economic growth, positive social impact and sustainability. MPOWERD aspires to eradicate Energy Poverty by providing humanity with affordable, renewable sources of light and power to enrich lives. Solar Justice for All means our products are intended for use by any human being, whether on or off the grid, in our shared need for light. Let’s leave behind dirty, expensive fuels and adopt the sun’s free energy as a path forward to a healthier, more productive future.

MPOWERD’S vision is to eradicate energy poverty through Solar Justice. Our mission is to make our brilliant clean energy solar products and solutions accessible the world over. Let’s empower humanity with affordable solar light to promote economic growth, positive social impact and sustainability.

Clear Grid Innovations

Now we move back to the developed world where centralized power grids were developed many decades ago and currently face degradation, reliability and modernization challenges. The price tag for maintaining and upgrading US power transmission and distribution infrastructure is variably estimated in the multiple trillions of dollars range. Technology that can facilitate the grid modernization process while reducing costs will be critical in successfully meeting the country’s power infrastructure challenges.

In their own words from the company’s website:

ClearGrid is a start-up company founded by utility industry veterans and computer vision software experts. We are pioneering imagery analysis technology in the electric utility industry, recently awarded a grant by New York State. Our solutions leverage the availability of high-performance, streetview type imagery solutions to capture overhead lines and streamline work processes. Privately-held, ClearGrid is based in the Greater New York City Area. It is a member of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resilient Economy (NYC ACRE) and a semi-finalist in CleanTech Open 2014.

Michael Wyman, CEO & Founder

Michael managed electric utility technology and M&A strategy for 5 years, most recently as Business Development and M&A Manager at PSEG, the largest utility in NJ. While there, he saw 75% of the utility’s customers lose power after Hurricane Sandy, and had a vision of using imagery better. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, JD, member of the New York State Bar.