In one aspect of the present invention a gate drive circuit is disclosed. The gate drive circuit includes a high voltage and low voltage energy source, a power transistor, a switching transistor, and a charging capacitor. The charging capacitor stores energy from the low voltage energy source. The gate drive circuit further includes a circuit that biases the switching transistor OFF which causes the low voltage energy stored in the capacitor to bias the power transistor ON to transfer high voltage energy to the load. The circuit additionally biases the switching transistor ON which biases the power transistor OFF to block the transfer of high voltage energy. Finally, a protection device is included to limit the power transistor voltage to a maximum voltage level in response to the power transistor being biased ON.