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September 14, 2018

How Longroad Energy Launched Their Company, and Grew to a 1.2 GW Operational Portfolio in the Space of 18 Months (and it’s only the start).

by Darcy Brooks

    How does a young company hit the ground running by building automation and asset intelligence into its processes from day one? I sat down with Tara Dhimitri, Director of Asset Management at Longroad Energy to talk about just that.

     

    For a relatively young company, Longroad Energy has a big story behind it. If you’ve been in renewable energy for a few years, you likely remember First Wind, which was sold for $2.4 BN in 2014. The former First Wind executive team (post SunEdison) then went on to found Longroad Energy, so while Longroad is a startup in age, it’s more than that in experience.

     

    This may be partly why they were able to both launch the company, and land their first investors in the same year, 2016. What followed was a flurry of acquisitions, and some serious year-over-year growth. The team knew the risks associated with growing too quickly, and looked to asset management software to support their goals and to ease their growing pains. Realizing that their combined Utility-scale and C&I portfolio is a complex beast, they knew what worked for Utility-scale wind wouldn’t necessarily allow them to be successful with C&I. Ditto for wind versus solar assets.

     

    For those of you that have been operating for a bit longer, you’ve probably got a pretty substantial technology stack when it comes to software. If GTM Research is to be believed, and I think that they are, you’re probably using around 10 different software tools. Not so with Longroad Energy – when we first began working together, being a new company, they were able to carefully evaluate the merits of various platforms in the marketplace and choose the exact combination that worked for their company vision.

     

    Longroad built their process and their software stack concurrently, which helped them scale up fast, Tara said. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, there’s a right and a wrong way to go after growth, and ensuring you have the right people, processes, and technology in place is by far your best protection, more so in the face of industry uncertainty. Longroad understood that big growth meant building better processes using the right tools.

     

    With big growth in 2017 and 2018 came challenges typical of managing increased customer demand. Their goal was to scale operations to provide for customer needs without hiring new team members. Since using PowerHub meant they could give their clients insight into invoicing and track ongoing compliance requirements across their portfolio of 442 projects in operation, their asset managers could be more efficient with their time.

     

    Time is money, and without automation, your team may be spending far more time than it really needs to on things like reporting and invoicing. Think of how much more they could do with some of those hours back. Tara told us that the single best way to make money off of a large portfolio of distributed assets is to be efficient. That means automation.

     

    PowerHub can help your team get agile. Forget asset management software. Get asset intelligence with PowerHub.

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