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In the midst of a climate crisis, innovators have recognized a need to shorten the proximity between energy production and energy use. Amongst these innovators are Elon Musk (Tesla), First Solar, Motech, and CropEnergies.

Tesla, formerly encompassing the subsidiary SolarCity, offers the lowest national price for solar energy and a battery that stores clean energy for reuse. First Solar uses photovoltaic (PV) technology to produce solar energy, but with the smallest carbon footprint than any other solar power.

Likewise, Motech is the leading manufacturer for PV cells, and has expanded its interests in creating entire PV power systems. CropEnergies has taken a different approach in renewable energy by using crops and plant life to create clean ethanol and other biofuels.

Keeping the lights on with a “virtual power plant”

These impressive innovators are now welcoming one of the most fascinating business model ideas from OhmConnect. OhmConnect recently received a whopping $100 million investment, amongst other investments, from Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, a spinoff of Alphabet, to create a “virtual power plant.” Envision a neighborhood acting as a collective power plant that not only pays you to reduce your carbon footprint, but also ensures no future power outages.

On a typical hot summer day—especially with the increases in temperature due to climate change—air conditioners are blasting on maximum settings. An electric grid instinctively initiates a fast-acting power plant to compensate for the expenditure of electricity.

However, the fast-acting power plant is not only costly but also damaging to the environment. OhmConnect presents a brilliant offer instead: pay the consumer to use less energy rather than turning on the fast-acting power plant.

Paying people instead of power plants

Earnings are made possible because the unused energy is sold back to the electrical grid, and OhmConnect transfers those earnings back to the consumer in the form of 1) a PayPal payment, 2) an Amazon or Target gift card, 3) an OhmConnect store credit, or 4) a donation to a charity.

And, keeping up with your savings is the easiest part. According to Fast Company, “when customers sign up for the free service, the company will occasionally send a text asking them to save energy for, say, an hour, and then gives a credit based on what they likely would have used otherwise. Customers can also opt-in to have their smart devices automatically reduce usage through the program.”

Delivering energy faster and more efficiently

Looking into the near future, OhmConnect is constructing a neighborhood in Arizona where each house has solar roofs and batteries to store power. The community acts as a virtual powerhouse in that it sends back unused energy to the electrical grid to be used by other houses when needed.

Effectively, this cuts out the need for a “peaker” power plant, which runs on coal or natural gases and is located mostly in low-income neighborhoods of color. The air pollution created by these fossil fuel plants can be avoided entirely using OhmConnect’s approach.

Implementing this, energy distribution can be met in a more environmentally safe way, and consumer demand decreases immensely. Energy is more readily available, and delivered in a faster, more efficient way.


The implication of OhmConnect is promising. In addition to the various investments in OhmConnect, they have been highly recognized by Forbes, NPR, and the U.S. Department of Education. Their innovative efforts to transform the typical electrical grid, battle climate crisis, reduce energy demand, and increase proximity of energy in a way that gives back to the consumer, are undeniably impressive.

With OhmConnect outthinking the future, there’s hope for a more sustainable life built around renewable resources.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

“8Ps” of StrategyOpportunity
for Disruption
Recommended Leverage Points
Position- The farmers, individual and corporate, that you are targeting.

- The need of the agricultural industry that you seek to fill.
3- What technologies do you control that can help you tap into market
segments that you previously thought unreachable?

- What are the potential business alliances you could think about with key players in the segment to serve your customers with integrated solutions? (Serving customers with more integrated solutions example: serving farmers with fertilizers, crop protection and other).
Product- The products you offer, and the characteristics that affect their value to customers.

- The technology you develop for producing those products.
8- What moves are your organization taking to implement Big Data and analytics to your operations? What IoT and blockchain applications can you use?

- What tools and technology could you utilize or develop to improve food quality, traceability, and

- How can you develop a more sustainable production model to accommodate constraints on arable

- What is the future business model needed to serve new differentiated products to your customers?
Promotion- How you connect with farmers and consumers across a variety of locations and industries.
- How to make consumers, producers, and other stakeholders aware of your products and services.
8- How are you connecting your product with individual and corporate farms who could utilize it?
- How could you anticipate market and customer needs to make customers interested in accessing your differentiated products?
PriceHow consumers and other members of the agricultural supply chain pay for access to agricultural products.7- What elements of value comprise your pricing? How do each of those elements satisfy the varying needs of your customers?
Placement- How food products reach consumers. How the technologies, data, and services reach stakeholders in the supply chain.9- What new paths might exist for helping consumers access the food they desire?
- How are you adapting your operations and supply chain to accommodate consumers’ desire for proximity to the food they eat?
- How could you anticipate customer expectation to make products more
accessible to customers/agile supply chain?
- Have you considered urbanization as a part of your growth strategy?
- How your food satisfies the needs and desires of your customer.
- How the services you provide to agribusiness fulfill their needs.
9- Where does your food rate on a taste, appearance, and freshness
- Could the services you provide to companies and farms in the agriculture industry be expanded to meet more needs?
- What senses does your food affect besides hunger? How does your
customer extract value from your food in addition to consumption?
Processes- Guiding your food production operations in a manner cognizant of social pressure.8- How can you manage the supply chain differently to improve traceability and reduce waste?
- How can you innovate systems in production, processing, storing, shipping, retailing, etc.?
- What are new capabilities to increase sustainability (impact on the environment, or ESG) components?
People- The choices you make regarding hiring, organizing, and incentivizing your people and your culture.- How are you leveraging the agricultural experience of your staff bottom-up to achieve your vision?
- How do you anticipate new organizational capabilities needed to perform your future strategy (innovation, exponential technologies needed, agile customer relationship, innovative supply chain)?
- How do you manage your talents to assure suitable development with exposure in the agrifood main challenges/allowing a more sustainable view of the opportunities/cross-sectors?