Intel, Braemar, Invest In Viridity Energy For Smart Grid
Intel Capital and Braemar Energy have invested an undisclosed amount of funding into Viridity Energy, a startup which makes software that dynamically manages power loads on the grid in terms of energy pricing, renewable energy generation and energy storage.
By Katie Fehrenbacher, GigaOMUpdated: Two high-profile investors in the energy sector have backed a 3-year-old up-and-comer in the smart grid sector. Intel Capital, the VC arm of the chip maker, and investors Braemar Energy, have pumped an undisclosed amount of funding into a Series B round for Viridity Energy, a startup which makes software that dynamically manages power loads on the grid in terms of energy pricing, renewable energy generation and energy storage. Update: Viridity later disclosed the funding size as $14 million. For a 3-year-old newcomer, Viridity has seemed to score more than its fair share of projects and partnerships. It will be building both the network and the commercial operations for the audacious transmission hub plan via company Tres Amigas. Viridity is also involved in two stimulus-funded projects: one with Consolidated Edison in New York City, and another with PECO at the Philadelphia campus of Drexel University. Siemens is also working with Viridity, to combine Siemens’ decentralized energy management system with Viridity’s system for managing “virtual power plants,” a collection of loads and distributed generation resources at office parks, university campuses or other discrete entities. Because Siemens is so large and has so many broad smart grid offerings, it needs to partner with some of the smaller firms to deliver the most advanced technology across the network. As Viridity Energy CEO Audrey Zibelman told us last year, the company can also help deliver effective microgrids, based on the premise that the customer owns the resource and maximizes its value by selling self-generated power — or “negawatts” of reduced power demand — into more and more markets that have traditionally been the domain of utilities and their big power plant partners. Viridity says it will use the new funds from Intel and Braemer “to support rapid growth.” Braemar has backed both demand response player EnerNOC and lithium-ion battery company A123 Systems — both of which have gone public. Braemer and Intel Capital also previously invested together into smart grid software company Grid Net.