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April 30, 2019

With Pika Energy deal, Wisconsin company strengthens position in home energy marketplace

Photo / Jim Neuger Ben Polito, co-founder and CEO of Westbrook-based Pika Energy, is shown in this 2017 photo from the Mainebiz archives. On Monday, the company announced it had been acquired by Generac Holdings, a Wisconsin company, for an undisclosed sum.
Pika Energy, founded in 2010 and located in Westbrook, is an expert in developing advanced power electronics, software and controls for smart energy storage and management, and their integrated energy storage systems allow users to easily capture, store and use solar energy to reduce energy costs and minimize grid disruptions.
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Westbrook-based Pika Energy Inc., a manufacturer of innovative battery storage technologies, has been acquired by Generac Holdings Inc., a Wisconsin designer and manufacturer of a wide range of power generation equipment and other power products that are sold globally.

Terms of the acquisition, which closed on April 26, were not disclosed.

Founded in 2010 by Ben Polito and fellow Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates Keith Richtman and Joshua Kaufman, Pika Energy’s early focus as a startup company was the development of small wind turbines. But it soon expanded beyond the wind turbine market with the development of a microgrid system called REbus that can tie together wind and solar energy into a hybrid system. As part of its microgrid system, Pika developed inverter technology that could charge electric car batteries or be used off-grid.

Generac Holdings (NYSE: GNRC) said in its news release Pika Energy's technology will give it an edge in the home energy marketplace.

“Pika’s integrated battery storage solutions are a crucial component in developing a comprehensive system to store and consume clean energy,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, Generac president and CEO. “The visionary ideas and technology that Pika has developed give us a considerable edge as we expand into the rapidly developing market for energy storage.”

Pika Energy CEO Ben Polito agreed, saying in the news release, “Generac is dedicated to providing people with innovative and forward-thinking solutions to power their homes and businesses. Pika's energy storage technology, combined with Generac’s distribution strength and demand creation capabilities, will make this solution immediately available to more users. We are thrilled to be a part of the Generac team.”

Jagdfeld noted that Generac purchased earlier this year Neurio Technology Inc., a company founded in 2005 that’s based in Vancouver, British Columbia, that is a leading energy data company focused on metering technology and sophisticated analytics to optimize energy use within a home or business.  Neurio’s hardware and software solutions equip users with the intelligence to manage and control electrical loads, solar systems and batteries to optimize energy consumption and increase savings. 

“The addition of Neurio’s data expertise, devices and advanced technologies will help us strengthen our home energy management capabilities and accelerate our efforts around connectivity and remote monitoring… all of which are critical parts of our ‘Powering Our Future’ strategy,” Generac’s Chief Marketing Officer Russ Minick said in a March 13 news release. “Customers using Neurio’s technology get real-time access to their power consumption data and have the ability to make informed decisions that allow them to save on their energy use.”

Pika Energy’s technologies and expertise add to that mix, giving Generac vertical integration in the rapidly changing home energy marketplace.  

“Pika, now together with Generac and Neurio, a leading energy management technology company recently acquired by Generac, share a vision to develop groundbreaking technologies that modernize the way electricity is generated, stored, and used in homes,” said Jagdfeld. “By combining Generac’s expertise in power products, Neurio’s unprecedented insight into home energy use and Pika’s expertise in battery storage, we can bring to market the first truly intelligent home energy management system.”

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