MiVT: Northern Reliability

WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) In a little over a decade one Waterbury company has become a powerhouse for its Made in Vermont energy storage systems that are saving people millions of dollars worldwide.

Storing renewable energy has become just as important as generating it.

"One of the many benefits of energy storage is that it allows you to harness that energy and distribute it when you want to. Energy on demand rather than energy when Mother Nature wants to make it," said Jay Bellows, the president and CEO of Northern Reliability. "We had to bring power where power wasn't already."

For 12 years this company has helped commercial clients with their energy storage and grid solution needs. Northern Reliability designs and installs systems that can be operated and controlled from their Waterbury headquarters. "Ultimately, what it does is it allows the utility to make and hold power, use it when they want to and lower the price for energy that they're selling to," Bellows said.

An example of that is the King Street Center in Burlington. After school and early evening are the peak times for energy use at the center, but that's when electricity costs the most. So they discharge the battery during that time, saving money for the center. "They can put that money into other systems, other programs that they have going on to help the kids rather than just pay for the electricity," Bellows said.

But Northern Reliabilty's reach is far greater than Vermont. It has systems worldwide and recently put in a 26 megawatt hour storage system in Fayetteville, Arkansas. That's enough energy for about 3,000 homes. It's the largest system in the southern part of the country.
"The growth is really exponential, which from a sales guys perspective is the best you can ever imagine," said the company's Gregg Noble.

Business at Northern Reliability is up over 900 percent this year. The company is moving to a new space down the road. There are 20 employees right now and they plan on hiring five or six more in the coming weeks. It's their experienced technicians and staff who can deal with specific projects that helps Northern Reliability compete with major companies like Tesla and GE.

"Bringing in younger people that can learn from the more experienced crew is key, and they learn that work ethic and that ability to do a lot of things," Bellows said. "The projections are over a $700 billion a year industry worldwide and we're really fortunate to be one of the earliest companies in this, if not the earliest."

A Made in Vermont company bringing energy storage to light.