State of Green Business

Silicon Valley conference, expo first to have 100% renewable microgrid

Silicon Valley conference, expo first to have 100% renewable microgrid

The 2015 VERGE microgrid powered the live event while modeling resilience, interoperability and the potential of today’s clean economy.

The following is a news release.

OAKLAND, California, September 8, 2016 — A major conference and expo at one of Silicon Valley’s largest convention centers will utilize a 100% renewably powered microgrid to power the entire expo — modeling resilience, interoperability and the potential of today’s clean economy.

VERGE 16 conference and expo, taking place Sept. 19 to 22 in Santa Clara, California, convenes more than 1,500 professionals from the world’s largest companies, most innovative startups and progressive government agencies to explore the latest technologies, tools and trends accelerating the clean economy.

The microgrid, to be built on-site in just one day, will utilize power generated from an 18-panel, 3.4 kW solar array, four wind turbines — 1kW (variable), a 25kW biomass gasifier, a 125 kW battery storage truck and a 100kW biodiesel generator acting as a load balancer.

“The VERGE microgrid demonstrates the true power of converging technologies,” said Eric Faurot, CEO of Oakland-based GreenBiz Group, which produces VERGE. “It shows clearly that today’s off-the-shelf technologies are capable of powering our world, and doing so reliably, affordably and cleanly.”

Since 2013, VERGE conferences have built renewably powered microgrids on-site to demonstrate the power and reliability of distributed energy resources. Spirae and Hitachi will provide the design, engineering, and project management for the development and installation of the 2016 microgrid. Other technologies in the microgrid come from All Power Labs, JLM Energy, PG&E and Volta Charging.

“VERGE is all about the wonderful possibilities at the intersection of sustainability and technology,” said John Westerman, Vice President of Hitachi Energy Solutions. “Hitachi’s mission is to bring our technological and engineering strength to solving global social and environmental challenges. That synergy in our respective missions is one reason we are so delighted to work with Spirae to power VERGE 16 with a 100% renewable on-site microgrid.”

“We are thrilled to present this fully functional ‘microgrid in a day’ at VERGE 16,” said Dr. Sunil Cherian, CEO of Spirae, LLC. “It gives Spirae an opportunity to collaborate with Hitachi and other distributed energy vendors to demonstrate our ability to stand up a microgrid in an efficient and standardized way using our plug and play Wave software platform.”

Tours of the VERGE Microgrid will be available to all VERGE registrants. readers can use code V16EXPO to register for a free Expo pass and gain full access to microgrid tours, the Interconnect Expo hall, Solutions Series sessions, the Startup Showcase, networking receptions and more.

To learn more about the VERGE Microgrid, visit:

About Spirae

Spirae’s Wave control platform provides a dynamically scalable architecture for integrating and managing high levels of renewable and distributed energy resources (DER) at the edge of the grid. Spirae’s Wave distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) includes peak shaving, energy shifting, virtual power plant, facility management, and real-time microgrid features such as import-export, transition to island, spinning reserve management, and resynchronization. Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, Spirae has developed, refined and validated its control platform and its menu of market-driven applications through numerous full scale and pilot projects in North America and Europe since 2002. The Wave platform’s intelligent algorithms enable customers to monetize multiple DER value streams from end-use optimization to energy market participation.  To learn more about Spirae, please visit:

About Hitachi

Hitachi contributes a major role in molding a better tomorrow; owing to its varied expertise across multiple spheres – from futuristic technology and infrastructure, to innovative medical and energy solutions. Aspiring to create a safer, smarter, and sustainable future, Hitachi developed the Social Innovation Business (SIB). Social innovation focuses on solving global challenges through innovation in collaboration with its valuable customers, for optimal use of natural resources.

To learn more about our microgrid solution, visit us at To learn more about Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business, please visit: