News and Events

ERMCO Acquires Power Electronics Pioneer GridBridge

Combined Entity Poised to Lead the Utility Industry and Commercial Sector’s Move to Smarter Electrical Distribution

Dyersburg, TN, June 19, 2017—ERMCO, a leading manufacturer of distribution transformers and transformer components, announced today a definitive agreement to acquire GridBridge Corporation, a privately held, leading power delivery systems company headquartered in Raleigh, NC. GridBridge’s innovative Energy Router Platform combined with ERMCO’s half a century manufacturing expertise make the combined company a potent leader in the rapidly evolving electricity distribution market.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Teaming up with GridBridge was a strategic decision prompted by increasing customer requests for advanced power management capability,” said Bill Reffert, President and CEO of ERMCO. “GridBridge’s Grid Energy Router (GER) has proven it can solve grid related problems our customers are asking for help with now. Equally attractive is that their product pipeline and power electronics expertise enables us to continue to support customers over time as they seek to manage distributed generation and storage, while also improving efficiency and reliability.”

GridBridge’s Energy Router Platform will serve as the basis for a new division focused on providing utility and commercial customers with a set of innovative power delivery solutions. These products will permit them to handle increasingly complex electrical distribution problems.  In particular, they will support electrical distribution grid modernization by empowering customers to integrate renewable generation and energy storage, significantly increase network efficiency and improve overall reliability and increase resilience.

“ERMCO is the perfect partner for us to broaden our impact,” added GridBridge’s CEO, Chad Eckhardt. “In a short period our team has demonstrated it can successfully transform our innovative R&D into viable products at the grid edge. As a combined entity, with access to ERMCO’s manufacturing capability, financial resources and market expertise, we can scale quickly to deliver a wider set of solutions to our customers.

“Combining the traditional role of the transformer with the additional functionality of GridBridge’s power electronics technology empowers us to deliver new capabilities to our customers,” continued Reffert. “ERMCO has been a superior transformer supplier to utilities and commercial power users since the 1970’s in a market that changed very little. Working with GridBridge over the past year, seeing what their products can do in the field, recognizing that they have an extremely talented team and now knowing that we can confidently meet customer demand for this functionality is exciting for our company.”

Post-merger, GridBridge will remain in North Carolina and operate under its name as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ERMCO, with Eckhardt serving as President. Bill Reffert will continue as President and CEO for ERMCO, overseeing this new subsidiary.

About ERMCO

ERMCO (Electric Research and Manufacturing Cooperative, Inc.) is headquartered in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), Little Rock, Arkansas. ERMCO was founded in 1964 and is one of the largest producers of oil filled distribution transformers and transformer components in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.ermco-eci.com.

About GridBridge

Since its founding in 2012, GridBridge has partnered with the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to develop breakthrough power delivery systems for a range of vital worldwide applications. Combining years of research in advanced electronics with innovative software, GridBridge’s platform-based products give customers unprecedented electric power delivery versatility and dependability. For more information visit  http://www.grid-bridge.com.

 

ERMCO enters into distribution arrangement with United Utility Supply

Friday, January 8, 2016
Special to The State Gazette
RACHEL TOWNSEND [email protected]

Recently released in the Louisville Business Press, 100 employees working at the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives Inc. (KAEC), will need to start looking for new jobs, as the cooperative has now decided that its transformer manufacturing operation in Louisville will be shutting down as part of a shift to a distribution-only business model.

The Louisville cooperative filed a Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification with the state on Dec. 29.

"Making this transition has been a difficult decision, but it comes after careful analysis of KAEC's position and realistic assessment of the challenges we face in the marketplace," stated KAEC President and CEO Chris Perry.

"This distributorship brings greater value and stability for our members and puts the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and United Utility Supply in a strong position for the future."

The ERMCO facility in Dyersburg has made the move to purchase the assets of the closed facility, and entered into a distribution arrangement with United Utility Supply, who previously distributed approximately 32,000 pole-mount and pad-mount transformers per year.

According to ERMCO President and CEO Bill Reffert, orders for pole mounts and pad-mount transformers have already been placed with the Dyersburg plant, resulting in more work for facility employees.

"A team will be going to Louisville this week to evaluate the purchase and see what materials can be used and what materials need to be disposed of," stated Reffert.

ERMCO Celebrates Office Expansion

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Special to The State Gazette

ERMCO is very proud to announce the opening of its new office expansion. ERMCO President and CEO Bill Reffert commented, "The need for more office space has been driven by our consistent growth over the past few years."

Reffert added "ERMCO's business is heavily dependent on the housing market and the industrial/construction markets and both of those markets continue to be far below the booming markets of 2007 and 2008. Over the last five years, our headcount has increased by over 275 employees in a very sluggish economy. I have to give tremendous credit to our employees in sales, production, quality, engineering and the support departments who provide a high-quality product and excellent customer service. I am very proud of the outstanding ERMCO workforce. Our growth and the need for this office expansion is a testament to the pride that each ERMCO employee brings each day to the work place. Our employees strive every day to be the best distribution transformer manufacturer so that ERMCO can continue to serve utilities who want to trust ERMCO with their transformer requirements."

Jerry Ray, ERMCO VP of Human Resources added, "We have done a great deal of hiring over the past few years and we needed to revise the footprint of our entire administration building. We wanted to expand the break-room facilities which results in having to convert some offices adjacent to this area into break room space." Christian Ouimet, ERMCO VP of Sales and Engineering, added, "We are also able to add conference room space to handle the increased amount of customer visits."

R.C. Hensley, ERMCO Engineering Manager and Office Expansion project manager, said, "We talked to a number of contractors and decided to award the construction of the new office addition to Rose Construction Inc. They designed a 6,000 square-foot floor plan that matched the existing building along with a covered portico to make access to the administration building easier in bad weather.

"I was very impressed with how quickly the project got started and even more impressed with the flexibility Rose showed in making sure were pleased with the finished product," said Bill Reffert.

ERMCO Manufacturing Milestone

On November 13, 2014, ERMCO reached a manufacturing milestone. The three-phase plant, located on Sylvan Road, produced its 100,000th three-phase transformer. ERMCO began manufacturing three-phase transformers in 2000 utilizing a patented design developed here in Dyersburg. This has enabled ERMCO to grow into a market leader of three-phase transformer manufacturing in the US. Three-phase transformers are used to provide electrical service to commercial/industrial buildings, apartment buildings and a wide variety of other installations that have large electrical requirements. The landmark unit was manufactured for Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative in Williston, North Dakota to serve the Bakken Shale oil boom in that area of the country. In attendance to celebrate the 100,000th unit from left to right were Matt Brandrup, CEO of RESCO, ERMCO's sales distribution partner; Dale Haugen, CEO of Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative; Bill Reffert, ERMCO President and CEO; Pat McFarland ERMCO Director of Materials; Todd Carlson, ERMCO VP of Quality; Craig DeRouen, ERMCO VP of Engineering; Christian Ouimet, ERMCO VP of Sales; Kent Raffath, ERMCO Sr. VP of Finance; Jerry Ray, ERMCO VP of HR; Jason Stanley, ERMCO Operations Manager; and Roger Stegeman, ERMCO Sr. VP of Operations.