In the first of EfficiencyLaw.com’s Cleantech Q&A series, Assistant Publisher Philip Liu catches up with Itai Karelic, Vice President of Business Development and Sales for Greenlet Technologies.
Based in New York, Itai oversees the Israeli-based company’s U.S. operations.
Describe Greenlet’s product and how the company is unique from its competitors.
Greenlet Technologies provides scalable energy control solutions for electric utilities, energy service companies, and end users with enhanced software, algorithms, hardware, and communication technologies.
Our key differentiator is that our system offers verifiable demand response without the need for professional installation. Demand response is the ability to reduce energy consumption during peak periods, or so-called “peak shaving.” This is a multi-billion dollar industry and growing. It is typically managed by transmission operators such as PJM or electric utilities [the PJM is a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that is responsible for moving electricity over large interstate areas, including parts of the East Coast and Midwest].
By reducing consumption during peak periods, utilities reduce capital expenses associated with peaking plants, which typically operate only a number of hours per year. We focus on pluggable devices that can be turned on and off, such as washing machines, air conditioning, etc.
Please give us some background on Greenlet’s start in Israel and what made the company decide to expand to the United States?
Greenlet Technologies was started by Avner Cohen and Nir Marom, who were at the time resident entrepreneurs at Precede technologies in Israel. They leveraged their experience and knowledge of the Telecom world to provide the same scalability and control for electric utilities.
Greenlet always planned to focus on the U.S. because it has the most developed demand response markets.
What were some challenges that Greenlet faced when coming from Israel to the United States?
We face similar challenges to other Israeli startups that have to operate in a market with very large players but with R&D facilities that are located remotely.
Overall, though, the collective international experience of the team allows us to operate well in the US market.
What makes Greenlet unique for investors?
With proven technology that has been deployed in the United States and Israel, we use patented technology with a unique application for pluggable devices for demand response and energy management. Additionally, we also have a team that can cost effectively execute in a growing market. Furthermore, we are targeting a niche that is very viable and would be a strong part of the future of demand response.
What is in store for the future at Greenlet?
At this point, we have not even hit the tip of the iceberg. The purpose is to deploy our product with as many utilities and aggregators as possible. [We hope to] basically manage as many megawatts as we can. There are additional services and technologies that we will supply, which we expect will primarily support the expansion of our company’s scope and scale of deployment to include more megawatts under management.
Does Greenlet expect to grow beyond the Israeli and U.S. markets?
We are thinking strategically about expanding, but are still opportunistic. We are building some relationships in South Africa and Japan, but right now, we are primarily focused on the United States and Israel.