By Sophie Martin and Danielle Baglivo
The George Washington University
Imagine relaxing on a beautiful Brazilian beach and coming up with your next great idea. Well that’s exactly what Kiran Bhatraju, the co-founder and CEO of the first nationwide renewable energy company, did. Bhatraju and Ryan Nesbitt created Arcadia Power two years ago while soaking up the rays. Their company has since grown exponentially and is powering the country with wind in all 50 states.
The Arcadia Power team developed an easy-to-use platform for Arcadia customers so they can follow their energy usage each month (see the example, below). As Bhatraju said in a recent interview, “The mix of software and energy is just getting started and I think it will actually be a massive growth industry.” Through this transparent platform design, Arcadia hopes to expand the want for clean energy. The idea is, the more the customers know about their energy usage, the more they will want to join in the cause, the company said.
This is the clean energy platform customers can see when they sign up with Arcadia Power.
With wind energy, Arcadia already has averted more than 16 million pounds of CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, which accounts for both carbon dioxide and the global warming potential of the fossil fuels that were saved.
Arcadia Power has been consistently increasing their customer numbers since the beginning of this year, so what challenges lie ahead?
One major roadblock they face is those who do not want to pay more for clean energy. But there are many benefits to switching to wind power, which Arcadia touts, such as:
- Knowing exactly where your energy is coming from
- A cheaper energy bill, in the long run (assuming you change the amount of energy you use after seeing your usage)
- Your home or business running 100% fossil fuel free
- Supporting clean energy initiatives
Ease of use is another way to keep customers happy. From their user-friendly Web design to streamlined billing, the company's platform is designed with simplicity in mind to encourage users to stick to clean energy. Bhatraju said he hopes to continue developing the idea of connectivity in the power grid to make it even easier, and more appealing, for all of America to switch over to clean energy.
Before Bhatraju started Arcadia Power, he worked in the energy sector for several years. He previously created a start-up called American Efficient, an energy-efficient technology company, and also worked on the Hill as a policy aide. Today he's a published author and on the board of the Environmental Voter Project. All of these areas of expertise have brought him and his team to where they are today.
So what's next for Arcadia? Bhatraju and the team are working on expanding their green energy options to homes and businesses by developing a solar project. Expanded energy options should draw more interest from consumers and increase the number of customers using these environmentally friendly energy options, leading to a cleaner environment — and a better future for generations to come.