Never known for cold temperatures or winter weather, the state of Texas in February 2021 got clobbered by both.
“The deep freeze two years ago brought single-digit and subzero temperatures across most of Texas along with ice and snow,” reads a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “Multiple natural gas and coal power plants experienced equipment failures and were forced offline. Wind speeds fell to extremely low levels, and many of the few wind turbines producing power froze.
“Power generation was unable to match record demand, forcing the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to order power cut to millions of customers to maintain grid stability. In the process, electricity was also unknowingly disrupted to many natural gas production and processing facilities, which had already struggled to operate in cold temperatures. A ‘doom-loop’ resulted for power plants unable to procure supply.”
This catastrophe underscored the vulnerability that any power grid is exposed to, in any country. And more than two years later, the problem remains unresolved.
“New regulations, weatherization standards and operational changes have addressed many shortcomings,” the report reads, “but some critical gaps persist.”
With South Africa-based VRE Ventures, Nathan Bergemann is offering a solution to a problem that is quickly raising worldwide concerns—power security. VRE Ventures manufactures industrial-size, solar batteries that can replace generators and the fuel needed to run them.
Nathan knows full well the ramifications from a lack of power security. South Africa is experiencing a power crisis that demands load shedding as it continues to escalate.
But this global problem demands a global response.
Speaking of his company’s battery solution, Nathan said, “This isn’t just a product for South Africa, it’s a product for Africa, it’s a product for Europe, a product for America. Our battery makes energy a sustainable source. Our product can secure your power. You become independent.”
Nathan has a background in the engineering energy field and his focus is electrical engineering. A veteran of working with large American companies in South Africa, he struck out on his own in 2016 and in 2020 launched VRE—Variable Renewable Energy—Ventures.
In addition to industrial batteries, VRE Ventures products include portable power units, generators, solar structures, and solar:
VRE since launching has been landing steady work—jobs ranging from 4 million rand (South African currency) to 23 million rand.
“The ultimate goal is to get momentum from these types of projects,” Nathan said. “And the only way we can get momentum is some sort of a capital injection.”
Potential investors can consider the VRE Ventures solar battery solution as comparable to an EV car, with diesel generators in the same class of automobiles that rely on such traditional fuels as gasoline and diesel.
Potential investors will also want to take note of Nathan’s revolutionary vision for mini-grids.
According to the African Development Bank, a mini-grid is a “Set of small-scale electricity generators and possibly energy storage systems interconnected to a distribution network that supplies electricity to a small, localized group of customers and operates independently from the national transmission grid.”
Visit vrebess.com to learn more.