BlockEnergy Receives Fast Company 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards

May 4, 2021


Emera Technologies’ BlockEnergy Microgrid Awarded Energy Finalist Status in Fast Company’s Coveted 2021 World Changing Ideas Contest and Lands Best World Changing Idea for North America Honorable Mention

Fast Company has announced the winners for their yearly World Changing Ideas contest for 2021. The annual contest looks for groundbreaking innovations judged on impact, design, scalability, and ingenuity with hundreds of brands vying for a place on Fast Company’s winners list in the highly coveted contest.

*Fast Company is a registered trademark of Mansueto Ventures LLC

This year, Emera Technologies’ fully autonomous community power platform — BlockEnergy — was spotlighted as a Finalist in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Energy Category that sought new innovations for better electricity distribution. BlockEnergy was also awarded Honorable Mention in the very competitive, Best World Changing Idea North America 2021 category by Fast Company.

“The Emera Technologies team are pleased Fast Company editors and their prestigious panel of judges and category experts could see the industry-changing possibilities BlockEnergy opens up for utilities and communities,” said Rob Bennett, President and CEO of Emera Technologies.

“We launched BlockEnergy to give utilities across the nation a better tool to offer cleaner and more reliable power for residents that’s easier for utilities to manage — while also providing more data for monitoring and coming grid innovations. Plus, BlockEnergy puts utilities in the market for distributed energy resource (DER) ownership with a business plan that’s unlike anything else available. It’s designed specifically for utility use, operation, and long-term, scalable management.”

The BlockEnergy microgrid is scalable for growing communities, greener and more reliable for residents and utility operators, plus turnkey for installation by developers and new home builders a neighborhood or community at a time. This new-to-market power platform has also been proven in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Defense in a pilot demonstration at Kirtland Air Force Base, which has been independently supplying energy since 2019 to base housing and Sandia National Laboratory — the DOE’s premiere lab exploring new energy technologies.

In October 2020, Emera Technologies announced the launch of their first residential partnership with Lennar and Metro Development Group for the Medley at Southshore Bay neighborhood, powered by BlockEnergy. This community debut, located in Florida where outages from storms can cause power disruptions, will highlight BlockEnergy’s ability to seamlessly provide unmatched storm resilience, keeping the power on even if the grid goes down. The system will be owned, operated, and maintained by the local utility — Tampa Electric — bringing the most reliable and advanced residential power to select homeowners in the Southshore Bay master planned, community development.


Future-proof by design, BlockEnergy’s distributed energy network is an industry-pioneering model when Direct Current (DC) native power loads are increasing with solar, storage, electric vehicles and more. Emera Technologies chose to design BlockEnergy to take advantage of efficiencies in these changing power requirements at the home.

BlockEnergy’s unique business model, along with the technical innovation it employs, deliver important value-based services and features for utilities that are not available through traditional grid service. This makes BlockEnergy an enticing proposition for local utilities. The fully autonomous power platform was designed to provide utilities tools to reach energy renewable and resiliency goals much more quickly.

 Emera Technologies model for BlockEnergy provides utilities and their customers:

  • Secure Power: Power is generated and distributed locally with multiple levels of security, starting with safety and protection of the power electronic and communications. In the event of an outage, each site instantly reverts to using its own, BlockHome-powered solar and storage system. The switch between these systems is so seamless, even digital clocks aren’t reset.
  • Resilient Power: There is no single point of failure in the BlockEnergy system. Each BlockHome is its own power system that includes solar generation, storage, and power controls. BlockHomes are networked through the entire community system to share energy as needed for optimal performance, so everyone has as much power as they need at any given time. Plus, the system is capable of independent operation indefinitely with its BlockCentral, locally-sited backup power and batteries for the community.
  • Renewable Power: All homes using BlockEnergy have power supplied by energy stored in batteries with most of the generation coming from local rooftop solar. The system design having generation and battery storage directly at each load is ideal for renewable intermittent power. If the batteries are charged — whether by solar panels, a windmill, a natural gas generator, or the bulk power grid — the system will supply steady, reliable power to all loads.
  • Operational Power: The BlockEnergy user interface gives second-by-second visual information so that utility operators can override the system automation and control the amount of energy directed to each load. This is an important advantage if there are critical loads on the system that need power during an emergency.
  • Data Controlled Power: The BlockEnergy system provides watt-by-watt data which allows real time observation and control of the platform. The system is autonomous and self-healing; any problems are revealed and corrected instantly allowing for quick response and continual optimization. You can see a demonstration of live operation here.
*Fast Company is a registered trademark of Mansueto Ventures LLC

Using shared resources with advanced controls, BlockEnergy autonomously optimizes the entire community where it is installed, to deliver cleaner and more resilient power to everyone. It’s a step change in serving community energy needs. As the world continues to electrify and depend more on electricity for everyday needs, homeowners simply require uninterrupted power. BlockEnergy provides this security with multiple layers of redundancies: rooftop solar generation, home-sited batteries, back-up community batteries and generation, an underground network, and a secure tie back to the local utility. Plus, it delivers storm and wildfire resilience for communities.

Simply put, BlockEnergy is much more than a traditional microgrid. It’s intersection of future-ready technologyand utility-focused capabilities are the future of utility-distributed residential energy. To learn more about BlockEnergy, contact us at: or talk to a BlockEnergy utility expert by calling (855) BLOCK-99

A new generation of advanced power surety has arrived. With BlockEnergy by Emera Technologies it can be owned, installed, maintained, and operated by the local utility for a cleaner more resilient power-capable future.

*Fast Company is a registered trademark of Mansueto Ventures LLC

Emera Technologies is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera Inc. with a dedicated and nimble team focused on developing new ways to deliver renewable energy to customers. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the team engages experts, research organizations and technology leaders to capitalize on the disruptive challenges and innovation opportunities in today’s energy industry. They’ve developed BlockEnergy, the first utility-owned business model delivering a distributed energy solution to new residential communities.

Developed by Emera Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of Emera Inc., the BlockEnergy Smart Platform is the world’s first utility-focused, front-of-the-meter, distributed renewable energy platform for new build communities of all sizes. Owned, operated and maintained by the local utility, BlockEnergy is the first truly plug-and-play energy system. Comprised of a simple kit of parts, BlockEnergy is installed by local utilities as a capital asset to deliver the most advanced, secure, reliable power available. Scalable, storm-resilient and able to interoperate seamlessly with the local grid when needed, BlockEnergy puts rooftop solar, energy storage and smart distributed controls throughout new communities of all sizes. These homes are joined together in a network, creating self-sustaining BlockLoops, able to independently power homes without disruption.

*Fast Company is a registered trademark of Mansueto Ventures LLC

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