The Most Innovative Companies of 2017 by Sector

Fast Company

This year marks the 10th edition of the Fast Company World’s Most Innovative Companies ranking. Our reporting team sifts through thousands of enterprises each year, searching for those that tap both heartstrings and purse strings and use the engine of commerce to make a difference in the world. Impact is among our key criteria.

A Microgrid Grows in Brooklyn
On sunny days, Martha Cameron’s electric meter runs backwards. There’s a simple reason for that. On the roof of her brownstone, a row house that was built about 1900 in the idyllic Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, she has a solar installation. When the sun is shining brightly, she can’t use all the electricity from her 18 photovoltaic panels, so the excess power is transferred to the power grid. When Cameron installed her solar system in 2010, she was a pioneer. But she was soon joined by five other buildings with solar systems on her leafy street, which is lined with Norway maples and sycamores.

Siemens, LO3 Energy teams up for blockchain-powered microgrid in Brooklyn
The Brooklyn blockchain-based microgrid started as a pilot project of LO3 Energy. The New York based start-up is now collaborating with Siemens, which will provide support from its Digital Grid microgrid platform and from next47, a unit of Siemens set up to fund start-ups and disruptive technologies. LO3 is providing its TransActive Grid peer-to-peer trading platform.

Siemens and LO3 Energy to develop Brooklyn blockchain microgrid
Decentralized Energy
Siemens and the New York startup LO3 Energy are collaborating in the field of innovative microgrids. The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop microgrids that enable local energy trading based on blockchain technology.

The blockchain’s emerging role in sustainability
One experiment to watch closely is in Brooklyn, New York, where a startup called LO3 Energy is using the blockchain to manage clean power trading across a solar-fed microgrid that covers a city block filled with both residential buildings and industrial facilities. The idea is that if one building produces more electricity than it can use, it can allow another building to consume it. “When each piece of the grid has a blockchain, it knows how to react,” said Scott Kessler, director of operations for LO3.

The symbiotic relationship between decentralised power and renewables
The Guardian
Imagine a basic circuit. There’s a battery, some wires, and a bulb. On a micro-scale, its form is very similar to a national power grid. Power is generated at a utility station (the battery), transported to where it’s needed (the wires) and put to work (the bulb). These are centralised grids: power generated in one place and transported to many others. The battery is a power station, likely generating hundreds or even thousands of megawatt hours of energy. The wires: huge, expensive electrical infrastructure – required as large power stations are often situated far from human habitation.

500 billion reasons blockchain can be a power play in energy
John Licata
Opportunity for President Trump and his new administration. It will most definitely come in many shapes, sizes and yes, even industries. To that end, while there was enormous focus in 2016 regarding how blockchain, the digital ledger of transactions, is rapidly disrupting the banking industry, opportunities for this technology do also exist within auto, insurance and energy, a focus near and dear to my heart at Blue Phoenix.

Is Brooklyn’s Microgrid-On-The-Blockchain The Future Of The Electric System?

Fast Company

A new micro-grid project in Brooklyn is pointing the way to a new type of energy system: one based around local electricity generation, energy trading between neighbors, and less reliance on traditional utility companies.

Blockchain grid to let neighbours trade solar power in Australia
New Scientist
Green says she was inspired by a similar project in Brooklyn called TransActive Grid. More than 100 buildings have been enrolled in that project, says LO3, the company behind TransActive Grid. It is looking into starting trials in Europe and Africa. “I think that there are going to be hundreds of blockchain energy companies springing up in the next couple of years,” says Lawrence Orsini, founder of LO3 Energy. “It’s going to be a really interesting time in the energy space.”

How Blockchain Technology Can Reinvent The Power Grid
“Instead of the command-and-control system the utilities have now where a handful of people are actually running a utility grid, you can design the grid so that it runs itself,” said Lawrence Orsini, founder and principal of LO3 Energy. “The network becomes far more resilient because all of the assets in the grid are helping to maintain and run the utility grid.”

How Blockchain Helps Brooklyn Dwellers Use Neighbors’ Solar Energy
National Public Radio
Robert Sauchelli doesn’t have a solar panel, but he’s all for the idea — before he retired, he devoted 21 years to energy efficiency work at the Environmental Protection Agency. To show his support, Sauchelli has been paying an extra 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour to a clean power company, called Green Mountain Energy, through his energy supplier in Brooklyn, Con Edison.

New York’s ‘Energy Czar’ Talks Future of Blockchain for Energy Grids
The state of New York is working to rebuild its power grid as a distributed platform and to create incentives for the powerful utilities companies to work with upstart innovators. An unanticipated side-effect of the effort is that the environment has proved a fertile stomping ground for LO3, a startup using the Ethereum blockchain to give people the ability to sell solar energy directly to one another.

Blockchain Technology Could Enable Next-Generation, Peer-To-Peer Energy Microgrids
Bitcoin Magazine
An experimental energy microgrid in Brooklyn, New York, shows how energy-generating homes can become part of a peer-to-peer electricity system, Fast Coexist reports. The project, part of the Brooklyn Microgrid ‒ a distributed energy development group in the Park Slope and Gowanus communities of Brooklyn, creating a connected network for local energy ‒ also shows how distributed ledger technology could enable the emerging “energy Internet.”

A Microgrid Grows in Brooklyn
Scientific American
Martha Cameron has gone to great lengths to make her home self-sufficient. The 40-year resident of Brooklyn’s upscale Park Slope neighborhood installed 18 photovoltaic panels on the roof of her three-story brownstone in 2010, and during the warmer months it generates enough electricity to run the first two floors of the building. Cameron does not have batteries to store the energy, so she relies on the power company to absorb electricity from her solar panels and feed it back to her through the existing grid. In essence she is an energy producer for New York City’s utility company, Consolidated Edison, which buys electricity from her at wholesale rates and deducts the payment from her monthly power bill.

Blockchain holds key to reinventing energy grid

The Huffington Post

While breakthroughs in solar-cell technology have led to greater variety in locally generated renewable energy, the underlying model is still broken: the local utility captures excess power in its supply for redistribution at wholesale rates, often with considerable leakage.

Shared Solar Is The Next Big Thing In Energy Industry
As more than 200,000 solar households in Australia get ready to lose their premium feed-in-tariffs at the end of the year, most are wondering “what’s next” for their electricity arrangements. But the same question is being posed by big utilities, who are facing a scale and pace of disruption that could never have been anticipated.