Don Currie: A Spark of Brilliance Igniting Change in the Energy Industry

Don Currie | CEO | Hillcrest Energy Technogies
Don Currie | CEO | Hillcrest Energy Technogies

The world is racing towards sustainability and a greener future, and the energy industry is at the forefront of this revolution. Leaders in the energy industry are working to develop new technologies that will help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy future. In addition to developing new technologies, energy leaders are also working to change the way we think about energy. They are advocating for policies that will support the transition to a clean energy future and they are working to educate the public about the benefits of renewable energy.

Don Currie is leading this charge as one of the leaders, the CEO of Hillcrest Energy Technologies, a company investing in cutting-edge energy solutions that power a more sustainable and electrified tomorrow. At Hillcrest, the vision is clear-to lead the charge in cleantech innovation and drive the development of highly innovative power conversion technologies and control system solutions. With a firm belief in the potential of their proprietary technology, Don Currie and his team are committed to crafting next-generation powertrains and grid-connected power systems that will shape the future.

Hillcrest’s dedication to sustainability and electrification serves as a guiding light in the energy industry, aiming to create a cleaner, more efficient world for generations to come. With a focus on clean tech, they are poised to revolutionize the way we harness and utilize energy, setting a new standard for power solutions.

As the CEO, Don Currie’s visionary leadership drives Hillcrest Energy Technologies to new heights, consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation and staying ahead of the curve. His strategic foresight propel the company’s mission to redefine the landscape of energy solutions.

With Don Currie at the helm, Hillcrest Energy Technologies is paving the way towards a future powered by clean energy, where electrification meets innovation and where sustainability and progress go hand in hand. Through his unwavering dedication and passion for driving positive change, Don Currie is leaving an indelible mark on the energy industry, one innovation at a time.

Let’s Explore the cutting-edge energy solutions used by Don and be a part of the clean tech revolution today. Together, let’s power a brighter tomorrow!”

Brief our audience about your journey as a dynamic leader until your current position at your company. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?

After nearly 20 years of raising money for public and private companies, I wanted to build and run my own company.  After nearly a decade of operating Hillcrest as a traditional energy company, we hadn’t reached the level of success or value I’d hoped, so I made the bold decision to transition the company into the clean energy technology sector and made it happen in 2021.

Competent management teams are essential in every business and we’ve assembled the right people with the experience and ambition to pull off something completely new.  I’m very proud of the team we’ve built and the recognized company we have transitioned to in such a short time.

In less than 2 years, we’ve accelerated quickly from an idea to product prototypes and co-development engagements with global leaders in the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) space and we are on schedule to secure commercial agreements this year.

While it’s not always easy, surrounding myself with the right people and encouraging advice and guidance from those that have been in my shoes before, has made this journey a fun adventure.  It doesn’t get easier as we move forward, but the team and I are confident we will be successful in delivering our technology to the market very soon.

Enlighten us on how you have been impacting the dynamic industry through your expertise in the market.

A year ago, it was challenging to get potential customers to listen. They couldn’t believe our company had discovered a way to apply a concept that had been around for nearly 30 years and not successfully deployed by much larger companies. Some thought it was impossible! Now, we have more of these companies interested in working with us than we have the capacity to handle.

It took a year of delivering market-leading results and persistently engaging our networks to change the industry’s perception. But I think our technology is having an impact on the market and gaining traction.  Our technical team has performed above expectations which have had a sizeable impact on marketing and commercialization discussions.

Tell us a bit about Hillcrest and its initiatives to redefine the industry.

Hillcrest is an innovative clean technology company, redefining power conversion technologies and advanced control system solutions.

Hillcrest is the first to market with a revolutionary Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS) technology platform. This highly differentiated combination of proprietary hardware and control firmware offers next-generation power inverter capabilities across large and diverse market segments, such as e-mobility and grid-connected power generation and storage.

The combined benefits of the ZVS technology offer a cost-effective approach to achieving greater efficiency, performance and reliability than power conversion devices currently on the market.

Describe in detail the values and culture that drives your organization.

We’ve worked hard to build and maintain a culture of innovation, integrity and inclusivity. We encourage curiosity and diverse perspectives and strongly avoid doing something just because that’s the way others have done it before.

Being creative and thinking outside the box may mean mistakes are made, but in the end, creativity and accountability allow the company to move very quickly as we create the optimal path forward.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you advancing towards technological innovations to make your solutions resourceful?

The main driver in building Hillcrest has been finding the right people with the skills needed to create innovative solutions and who have industry networks to take that idea from concept to commercial reality.

What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

The shift to zero-emission vehicles and clean energy generation and storage is happening at warp speed. For perspective, ICE vehicles and combustion energy generation have matured over the past 100+ years with incremental advancements that when combined, get us to where we are today.

We need to generate the same level of innovative advancements in our clean energy systems in 1/10th the time – less than 10 years!  To do that, we need to take a dynamic, systems-level approach to create better solutions.

The ZVS technology platform we’ve developed at Hillcrest embraces this approach and solves optimizing the entire system, resulting in more efficient, higher performing and more reliable ZEV  powertrains and grid-connected renewable energy generation and storage.

Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for the organization?

We have the technology, the team and the plan to become a global technology leader by 2027 through supplying multiple sectors. From ZEV manufacturers to power generation/storage, we intend to be a top-tier supplier of power electronic innovations.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the dynamic industry?

Spend the time needed to build and empower the right team and trust them to fill those gaps in your own expertise.