Brian Curtis, CEO of Concentric Power (concentricpower.com), delivers an informative overview on the technology, sustainability, and efficiency issues that impact the energy grid we rely upon. Curtis has more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of skilled areas such as engineering, finance, and strategic management in the energy and technology industries. He has a wealth of international experience and has partnered with many companies on multiple projects. Curtis was involved with notable projects in China such as the building of an ammonia processing plant in which he stayed on as plant general manager during the launch of their business and product line and as a venture partner with VC firms where he supervised clean energy investment strategies. Additionally, he worked closely with the U.S. Department of Energy with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as many other clean energy startups. He has extensive experience as a power plant design engineer and as a refinery engineer.
Curtis founded Concentric Power in 2011 to focus on sustainable infrastructure and energy independence for companies in critical industries such as food and pharmaceuticals. Concentric Power is his second start-up. He holds a B.S. in mechanic engineering from UCLA, where he specialized in electro-mechanical systems design and control. Additionally, he holds an MBA from MIT.
As Curtis states, Concentric Power’s primary focus is on sustainable infrastructure for agriculture and industry applications, essentially firm power applications such as natural gas, battery storage, etc. coupled with renewables. Curtis discusses the traditional grid and the sources of power that exist based on geographical locations. And he explains how the trend will be to utilize energy sources that are localized, and how that will affect the power generation and supply overall. He discusses hybrid technologies and the impact on the environment, and his interest in how the technologies are coming together for more efficient energy production that may be greener and more sustainable overall as well.
The energy engineering expert provides an analysis of the shortcomings of intermittent power sources such as wind and solar, and the battery storage, pumped hydro, thermal, and other technologies that are needed to store intermittent sources for those nonproductive times. Curtis provides his expertise and insight into some of the issues that could present ongoing problems in the energy sector as renewable sources become more mainstreamed, such as the software and control of the systems. He discusses the complexities involved with running a coordinated system of varied energy sources, and how Concentric Power has developed a software program that utilizes machine learning to assist with the management and coordination. He provides information on the costs of energy production in various locations, from high to low, and the importance of smart components to work with the next generation grid as the energy production advances continue to move ahead.
Additionally, the energy expert discusses the details of efficiency and ways that energy producers can make savings along the way and be more productive and successful. He outlines some other projects that he and his team are working on that relate to the grid, such as microgrid projects that deal with renewables and sustainable energy production.