Technology Association of Georgia’s Smart Energy Society Names Its 2014 Person, Company and Government Entity of the Year

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The Technology Association of Georgia’s Smart Energy Society last week named the City of Valdosta as Georgia’s Smart Energy Government Entity of the Year


The evening opened with comments from Janet Joseph, Executive Director of the Heating Energy Assistance Team, Inc. H.E.A.T. provides one-time emergency heating fuel assistance to families in need throughout Georgia.

The Technology Association of Georgia’s Smart Energy Society last week named the City of Valdosta as Georgia’s Smart Energy Government Entity of the Year, Advanced Control Systems as Georgia’s Smart Energy Company of the Year, and Pete Marte of Hannah Solar as Georgia’s Smart Energy Professional of the Year. The awards were presented as part of a gathering on December 5th to celebrate spectacular achievements in the energy industry by individuals, company and governments throughout Georgia.

Runners-up for the awards included: the Georgia Department of Corrections for Government Entity of the Year, Urjanet for Company of the Year, and Sanjoy Malik for Professional of the Year.

The City of Valdosta, represented by Larry Hanson, took the prize for their consistent energy saving initiatives and efforts to serve its residents and promote economic growth through sustainable and smart energy.

In 2011, and again in 2013, the City negotiated contracts for a total of 2.35 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy at the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, some of which can be sold back to the Georgia Power Company. Valdosta is one of five cities in Georgia to convert all street lights to LED, and will enjoy greater stability, longer bulb life and a significant reduction to the former $1.2 million budget to operate street lights throughout the City.

Utilizing cost-effective investments and creative conservation measures, the City of Valdosta Utility’s goal of 10 percent energy reduction will soon be a reality. The Energy Efficiency programs include Central Plant Improvements, Lift Station Upgrades, Smart Energy, Solar Energy, Control of Storm water Infiltration and Education and Training.

In accepting the award, Mr. Hanson stated that “innovation is often a little ahead of regulation,” and called on state-wide changes to encourage the type of success Valdosta is enjoying.

The Georgia Department of Corrections, the runner-up for the award, is the first state agency to implement a guaranteed energy performance contract. Their $4.5 million contract with Johnson Controls at Buford State Prison alone results in nearly $500,000 avoided costs per year and a 97% reduction in water use.

Advanced Control Systems (ACS), represented by José Barbosa, won Company of the Year for its contributions to smart energy, technology, thought leadership, business leadership, public awareness and creation of job opportunities in Georgia.

ACS’ advanced distribution management systems (ADMS), outage management systems (OMS) and sophisticated fault detection, isolation and restoration (FDIR) application were among the ACS offerings that were celebrated.

Georgia Power’s use of ACS’ Centrix Feeder Automation system provided immense value by lessening the impact of outages and shortening restoration times for many of the utility’s customers during “Winter Storm Pax”. By August 2014, ACS’ system has already helped the utility avoid 7.2 million cumulative customer-minutes of interruption (CMI).

ACS collaborated with fiber company PCS to design, install and maintain a 120-mile, fully digital 48-fiber backbone ring and fiber optic network to provide high-speed connectivity between the ACS PRISM SCADA system of the Marietta Board of Lights & Water and their 17 electrical substations and 144 automated switches.

Urjanet, the runner-up for the award, was named one of The Top Five Startups to Watch in 2014 by Venture Atlanta. The company formed strategic partnerships with both Fortune 500 companies and energy management firms that rely on their data from thousands of sources - including more than 1,000 utilities. Urjanet’s unique Big Energy Data platform is designed to organize the world’s disparate energy data and make it easily accessible and useful.

Pete Marte, CEO and Founder of Hannah Energy, won the Professional of the Year award. Mr. Marte is co-founder of the Georgia branch of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and serves today as a board member and co-chair. He also served as a board member of the Georgia Solar Energy Association (GSEA).

Mr. Marte built Hannah Solar, named after his daughter, now aged 9, from the ground up. Today Hannah Solar has installed over 30MW of solar in the southeast and is the largest solar installer based in GA. As part of the solar industry, he worked hand and glove with many of the stake holders, such as the Georgia Public Service Commission, to advance the regulatory and legislative landscape for solar. The result was the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative which, in three short years, has taken the state from unknown to the 7th in the nation for solar installations.

Mr. Marte was honored in 2014 by the White House as a Pioneer of Change for his work in solar energy.

Sanjoy Malik, the runner-up for the award and CEO of Urjanet, has made his mark on Atlanta as a leading innovator in technology. Companies he has founded include Synchrologic, Air2Web and Urjanet. The first step to reducing energy consumption, a financial and ecological goal of companies large and small, is to benchmark current energy spend...and that requires good data. Mr. Malik’s Urjanet delivers that data. Now, with his innovations, it is also investing resources to determine how energy data will play a role in new markets including home automation systems and electric vehicles.

The evening opened with comments from Janet Joseph, Executive Director of the Heating Energy Assistance Team, Inc. H.E.A.T. provides one-time emergency heating fuel assistance to families in need throughout Georgia. Smart Energy Society selected H.E.A.T. as the beneficiary of its inaugural charity fund raiser. From now through December 31, for every $25 contributed, donors will receive a chance to win 4 box seats at the Atlanta Hawks vs Philadelphia 76ers on January 31st.

The Smart Energy Society is sponsored by Oglethorpe Power and Deloitte.

For more information on the Technology Association of Georgia’s Smart Energy Society, the Awards Ceremony and the H.E.A.T. fundraiser, please visit or contact Joseph Santoro, Associate Director of External Affairs, Technology Association of Georgia, at 404-526-6049 or Joseph(at)tagonline(dot)org.

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 25,000 members and hosting over 200 events each year. TAG serves as an umbrella organization for 34 industry societies, each of which provides rich content for TAG constituents. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, influence and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides members with access to networking and educational programs; recognizes and promotes Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology.

Additionally, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG’s charitable arm) focuses on helping science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives thrive. For more information visit the TAG website at or TAG’s community website at To learn about the TAG-Ed Collaborative visit

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