Energy is the future of the region
, an industry with the potential to create thousands of new jobs, says BPL Global
CEO Keith Schaefer.
"Clean coal, natural gas, nuclear power, no other city in the world is doing what Pittsburgh is today. No other city has the natural resources or the knowledge. President Obama and our leaders in Washington have recognized this."
For its part, the company is leading the way with "smart grid" technology, a whole new paradigm for the way energy flows through our lives. BPLG wants to replace our antiquated grid system with a more efficient approach that communicates, coordinates and connects utility companies to one another and consumers, sending power where it's needed, when it's needed.
"Picture the national highway system of the 1950s before it was radically updated," says Schaefer. "It means taking a grid that was not intelligent and making it intelligent. If you can improve the reliability and the waste, and people aren't paying for electricity they won't get, everybody wins."
A utility in northern California has already demonstrated a 20 percent savings on its electricity bill. Consumers can save even more by signing up for green programs.
BPLG recently expanded its headquarters, moving to 15,000 square feet in the McKesson Corp.
building in Cranberry Woods. The company employs 50 in Pittsburgh, another 80 globally, and is hiring another 20 (10 in Pittsburgh), bringing the total to 150.
In addition to Pittsburgh, BPLG has offices in Columbus, Portland, Le Mans, Kuwait City, Beijing, and San Paolo. Revenue grew 1456 percent from 2006 to 2008; BPLG has averaged 55 percent growth year over year, despite the downturn, Schaefer says.
With the demand for energy and energy efficiency on the rise, especially in developing countries, BPLG is perfectly positioned and figures it's 5 years ahead of the competition.
If a portion of the $4.5 billion in energy stimulus funding comes its way, BPLG will be hard to keep down. While the competition is fierce, BPLG is hopeful.
"If we win more than our fair share, our growth will be extraordinary," he says.
Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Keith Schaefer, BPL Global