Strategic Partner Profile – ProtoGen, Inc.
Conversation with Kevin Wright, President and Co-Founder, ProtoGen
Kevin Wright has 27 years of experience in the energy industry as an electrician, inspector, instructor, and technical consultant. He and his partners founded ProtoGen in response to the unique opportunities emerging in energy transformation including renewable energy and microgrids.
What is ProtoGen’s Mission?
Our mission is to enable energy transition in response to climate change. We believe there is both an urgency, but also a huge opportunity in expanding renewable and more resilient electric grids.
What is unique about your approach?
We bring a unique combination of skill sets to clients and projects. Our team has extensive experience working with all types of power systems, but we have also developed the capability to model both the technical performance of power systems as well as financial performance. This allows us to quickly develop options for projects and help find solutions that are responsive to clients’ needs and priorities. We pride ourselves on creating actionable and practical outcomes. We also find it very beneficial to be agnostic of technologies: our goal is to help clients make informed decisions in their own best interests, not to push any one type or brand of solution.
What are some of the ways you are different from other consulting firms?
We find the leadership needed to move energy projects forward is often lacking. Many teams do not know enough about the problem they are trying to solve. The potential is there but teams can get stuck in the complexities. We really try to organize conversations and take the time to get teams in the right state of mind to make decisions. We seek out a shared understanding of a sustainable and resilient future in a structured, transparent, and inclusive process.
Why are you seeking to work in tribal communities?
It is really about alignment of goals and values. One thing we see about tribes is that they are positioned to leapfrog some inefficient systems, and go directly to the systems of the future like microgrids and renewables. Tribes are realizing they have the freedom to direct their own energy future. We also love that Tribes think about the whole system - the people, the buildings, the future, the community. They are systems thinkers.
How has Indigenized Energy helped create opportunities for your organization?
The Indigenized Energy team is essential to our work with tribes. They have a very unique set of skills and serve as an interpreter between firms like ours and tribal leaders. Their team has decades of experience creating real outcomes in tribal communities. They help shape specific projects and studies that are responsive to the tribes’ values and individual situations. They also help ensure the technical results of our work are presented and understood. Thanks to their support, we now have a track record of successful projects and with multiple tribes in very different settings.
ProtoGen uses a combination of drone surveys, photogrammetry, and modeling tools to develop microgrid plans for tribes seeking to add renewable energy and resiliency to tribal facilities (Image courtesy of ProtGen, Inc.)