Greentech Lead America: AutoGrid, a Palo Alto, California-based startup focusing
on smart grid technologies, has raised US$9m in Series B funding to pioneer its
big data analytics platform for energy, with the aim of allowing utilities to
manage real-time demand across the electrical grid.
AutoGrid raised the funding from Foundation Capital,
Voyager Capital and Stanford University.
In addition to this funding, the start-up has also signed
contracts worth more than US$5m with the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E
research agency and the California Energy Commission.
AutoGrid transforms data into actionable intelligence for
both utilities and their customers. The technology, according to Steve
Vassallo, a partner at Foundation Capital, will dramatically help expand how
demand response programs are used by utilities and retail electricity providers
in the nation and around the world.
AutoGrid has developed an Energy Data Platform (EDP) to
mine data from smart meters and other networked data connected to the grid. It
helps utilities forecast how much power they need, be it weeks or minutes and
seconds ahead of time.
According to AutoGrid, its EDP is a physics-based model of the grid that takes
into account the behaviors of assets such as buildings, industrial sites,
electrical meters, electric vehicle charge points, apartment complexes and
transmission lines connected to it. It can run scenarios based on accumulated
data or anticipated behavior, so utilities can then take action and remove
inefficiencies from the electricity supply chain, the company said.
Another product from AutoGrid is a demand response
optimization and management platform, also known as DROMS. The
software-as-a-service is already being used in demand response programs by the
City of Palo Alto Utilities and Sacramento Municipal Utilities District in