Whit founded ConnectDER to give inventors a place to solve meaningful problems and to ensure they have an ownership stake in the solutions they create. His mission is to create technologies and companies that unlock scalable models for clean energy. ConnectDER (pronounced “connector”) helps utilities see and monitor solar on their grid, and helps solar companies reduce the cost of installing PV. The ConnectDER is a UL-listed meter collar that goes between the meter and the home, turning the electric power meter socket on a home or building into a standardized interconnection point for solar PV and other distributed energy resources (DERs). The collar is a safe and low-cost alternative to the extensive electrical work usually required to install solar.
Currently, utilities do not have visibility into solar production on the electricity grid. Yet on the island of Oahu, during the middle of the day the combined power of distributed solar is effectively the island’s largest power plant. ConnectDER is able to provide the utility metering, visualization, and control, enabling utility operators and planners to manage assets and facilitate integration with the grid.
ConnectDER is a member of Elemental Excelerator’s 2014 Demonstration Track. Through their project they are working with solar companies and Hawaiian Electric to deploy 65 of their devices on Oahu homes with PV systems: an aggregate installed capacity of over 400 kW of monitored and managed solar capacity.