In marketing, sometimes it’s all about the packaging. A new offering from a company called GridPoint unveiled an all-in-one grid-connect inverter and battery back-up system that’s bound to ruffle some feathers in the renewable energy industry. The company says that renewable energy users face a “confusing array of technologies that provide an inadequate level of reliability, safety and support,” and that installers must choose from these disparate options to build a customized system for each installation, “resulting in wasted time, increased complexity and unnecessary costs.” Well, is this a case of clean packaging and clever marketing or are they on to something? The full, unedited, product press release follows, and more detailed specs can be found at the company’s Web site listed below. And feel free to post a comment in the reader forum too.GridPoint Unveils First Intelligent Energy Management Appliance for Renewable Energy Customers; GridPoint Connect(TM) Allows Customers to Harness Renewable Energy and Benefit from Instant, Automatic, Silent Backup Power During Outages GridPoint, Inc(TM), a provider of intelligent energy management (IEM) appliances, today announced the availability of GridPoint Connect(TM), enabling customers to easily integrate renewable energy and leverage instant, automatic, silent backup power. GridPoint products are the first energy management and backup power appliances to seamlessly combine advanced battery storage with power electronics into a single “plug-and-play” cabinet, designed for use inside a home, business or government building. During a power outage, GridPoint Connect customers continue to live and operate without interruption; businesses can keep point-of-purchase terminals running and perishables from spoiling; and government entities can protect critical assets. Made especially for renewable energy customers, GridPoint Connect is a grid-tied battery backup product that integrates and converts energy from solar panels into electricity that can be used immediately by the customer or stored within the product for future use. The product can also determine the amount of energy used from solar panels versus the utility company as well as peak usage throughout the day. In addition to providing backup power during outages, GridPoint Connect also enables users to sell excess energy back to the utility. “GridPoint Connect allows energy-conscious consumers and businesses who are using or considering solar power to further increase the benefits of using a renewable energy source,” said Peter L. Corsell, President and CEO of GridPoint. “With GridPoint Connect they gain backup power as well as intelligence about the type and amount of energy being consumed. It also allows users to participate in the emerging smart grid and become more proactive in making energy choices.” Unlike any other residential or light commercial energy technology, GridPoint products uniquely incorporate advanced software coupled with communication technologies and network controls. This allows the appliance to automatically execute intelligent decisions to improve power reliability and management as well as actively communicate with the company’s performance monitoring and customer care center, GridPoint Central(SM), to ensure maximum efficiency and early detection of maintenance needs. “Since GridPoint Connect is a self-contained unit, it was easy to install. Within five simple steps, I was able to connect the product to my own home’s solar energy and electrical systems, giving me the ability to integrate solar as well as manage energy for my entire home,” said Lee Bristol, President of LBA Renewable Energy Systems, Inc. “I especially like the fact that it gives me insight into how I’m using energy throughout the day. I will definitely recommend this product to my customers.” GridPoint Connect’s features are the type of advanced metering and communications technology the new federal energy law encourages. Home and business owners who purchase GridPoint Connect can take advantage of tax credits allowed for commercial and private solar-related equipment. The product will also help government agencies comply with mandates for the implementation of technologies that support renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency, reduction and net metering goals the new law also requires. GridPoint handles all service and support after installation and provides a comprehensive warranty. GridPoint Connect as well as GridPoint Protect, GridPoint’s product for the traditional energy user, are marketed through premium home builders, utilities, retail chains and government entities as well as installers and contractors of electrical, heating, air-conditioning, home automation and renewable energy systems. To learn more about GridPoint products, please call 800.998.GRID or visit www.gridpoint.com.