November 8, 2011
The New England Clean Energy Council has chosen BigBelly Solar Inc. as its “Emerging Company of the Year.”
And before anyone starts wondering if this business will go the way of Solyndra, well, they’re not even remotely similar.
Solyndra is known as the big solar panel-making bust. BigBelly is known as the maker of solar panel-powered trash compactors.
The Newton company, originally called Seahorse Power, has been making trash collection more efficient and reducing sanitation department costs since 2003. (I remember then-Worcester Mayor Tim Murray checking out a prototype outside the DCU Center back in 2005, years before he joined the Patrick administration’s clean energy agenda.)
The privately held company said it had a “significant” expansion this year, including Chicago’s downtown-wide rollout of BigBelly cans, and now counts 13,000-plus units deployed worldwide. Boston, MIT and Boston University are customers.
In announcing the award picked up at the council’s “Green Tie Gala” on Wednesday night, BigBelly CEO Barry Fougere noted the company’s recent shift to an information services company – a type of “smart grid” that provides wireless connections and software to analyze waste disposal and recycling rates.