Heila Technologies: Where Are They Now?

Heila logo

Heila Technologies has ensured the resiliency and adaptability of energy in an ever-changing climate landscape. You may have already seen Heila highlighted in their Success Story back in 2020, but they have accomplished plenty since. Wondering where they are now, almost two years later, in their product development and business progress? Read below on their recent major victories, acquisition, and advice for other startups.

For context, Heila Technologies has pioneered a low-cost, low carbon, modular energy platform that makes it possible to use renewable distributed energy resources (DERs) to advance a more sustainable, reliable, and equitable electric grid. Heila’s decentralized control and optimization technology connects any DERs – in any configurations – into resilient operating grid networks, including microgrids that can interact with the grid to meet economic objectives and also operate independently from it to ensure a reliable power supply to the site. The hybrid hardware and software solution allows for increased control and communication between DERs, reducing costs and allowing end-users to easily operate and monitor their system with a distributed controls platform. Heila’s platform provides autonomous and local control of DERs, enabling more economically viable and resilient systems. 

Through it’s Heila Edge® platform, Heila is unlocking the full potential of energy resources and enabling localized systems to function efficiently, sustainably, and reliably. With the U.S. electricity system struggling against the growing stresses of climate change and the increasing diversity and scale of DERs, Heila Technologies is perfectly positioned to assist in the transition towards a resilient and adaptable energy industry with its decentralized energy control solution. 

Heila's devices on a rack.

From Implementation to Acquisition

The past year at Heila Technologies has been action-packed. After finalizing their technology, their focus was on implementation and amplification through projects across the United States as well as in the Caribbean and Costa Rica. Heila partnered with a top Costa Rican grocery store Auto Mercado and its Auto Deli processing plant, providing the controls for the plant’s new microgrid to ensure the resiliency of the site during outages and maintain reliable power for its refrigerated goods. Additionally, the microgrid will reduce CO2 emissions and electricity consumption, contributing significantly to the company’s corporate sustainability goals (read more here.) Heila also partnered with Costa Rica’s Marriott Hacienda Belén Hotel, where the microgrid will allow the hotel to avoid 20.8 tons of CO2 per year, reduce electricity consumption, and increase resilience against electrical outages (read more here.)

Yet another project was in Tampa, FL – the first project of its kind, fully approved by regulators and owned by a utility, with their partner Emera Technologies. The greenfield project involves 37 new homes, each with a nano grid (battery+solar on the roof) and focuses on residential aggregation, energy resiliency, and independence for those homes. Nearly 100% of Heila’s projects have resiliency components and leverage economic opportunity to lower capital expenses – in other words, a focus on revenue generation and cost reduction strategies, proving the value of the technology. 

In 2021, Heila Technologies also won several awards, including Startup Company of the Year in The Cleanie Awards®, being named a BostInno’s 2021 Innovation on Fire company, the NSF SBIR Phase II Award; and Francisco Morocz (Co-founder) won Sustainability Hero of the Year in the 2021 Sustainability Awards.

A diagram showing how Heila's device interacts with the power grid.

Heila’s biggest win yet

The biggest win of recent, however, was on January 4th, 2022 – Kohler Co’s acquisition of Heila Technologies. According to Kohler, “Kohler Co. continues its focus on providing power resiliency solutions by expanding its clean energy management offering with the acquisition of Heila Technologies. Heila will become part of Kohler’s Power Group – a global leader in engines, power generation, and clean energy.” Kohler Power Group manufactures engines and complete power systems, including generators, automatic transfer switches, switchgear, monitoring controls, and accessories for emergency, prime power, storage systems, and energy-management applications all around the world. 

“We are very excited to join Kohler Co., a highly regarded, strong multinational organization that has achieved decades of unparalleled innovation and growth. As a young company, Heila Technologies couldn’t be more pleased to now be part of the company’s well-established Power Group and contribute to a shared strategy of power resiliency and sustainability and to accelerate the growth of clean and distributed energy resources globally.” — Morocz, Heila co-founder

Scaling with Strategic Partnerships in Mind

Kohler’s acquisition of Heila is the perfect fit for both parties, and Morocz noted that it is all about the fit. He also has some other advice for startups exploring acquisitions. Morocz stated that timing depends on market trends, so you need to keep a pulse on the market and not necessarily plan for acquisition, but rather focus on scaling up the business with strategic partnerships in mind. 

Heila Technologies’ value cannot be understated in an ever-changing energy landscape facing threats from climate change. Heila’s resilient, adaptive, and efficient solution is the type of innovation that inspires and helps us prepare for all scenarios. The future looks bright for Heila and we cannot wait to see what’s next for them and Kohler Power Group.