Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Macnica deal opens up Japan for AutoGrid

Steve Rogerson
October 2, 2018

California-based smart energy software provider AutoGrid is hoping to increase its presence in Japan following a deal with local firm Macnica, which supplies software to governments and enterprise users.
Macnica will deploy AutoGrid’s Flex and Engage energy internet applications.
The partnership will focus on extending AutoGrid virtual power plant (VPP), energy storage management, distributed energy resources management and demand response optimisation and management modules of its Flex platform to regulated and deregulated energy companies throughout Japan.
Macnica will leverage its experience in networking and enterprise IT software to develop a new energy offerings to its existing customer base of government entities and large enterprises within Japan. Macnica will provide value-added services such as local Japanese hardware, enterprise software integration and customer support services to offer turnkey products built on the Flex platform.
"AutoGrid's expertise in applying big data and AI technologies to real-time optimisation of distributed energy resources will become increasingly critical in Japan with the rapid deployment of solar PV and energy storage in the coming years," said Shigenori Mori, Macnica managing executive officer. "We are delighted to be partnering with AutoGrid to offer end-to-end solutions to energy companies in the area of energy storage and microgrids for the Japanese market."
Since 2016, the Japanese electricity market has undergone a massive transformation with more than 450 competing deregulated energy retail companies offering products for management of distributed solar and storage. To encourage changes to the generation mix, the Japanese government is promoting the installation of lithium-ion batteries for residential and industrial use by subsidising the capital costs of the battery system.
One important driver of residential behind-the-meter storage sales in Japan has been dubbed the 2019 problem by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The problem refers to more than half a million Japanese households that will come off their buyback programme for rooftop PV late in 2019, and more than 100,000 every year thereafter, creating a significant market opportunity for behind-the-meter residential storage retailers.
As a response to these changes, major Japanese utilities and energy companies, including Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, have set up subsidiaries that will sell solar and storage to households, anticipating that from 2018 to 2050 Japanese households and businesses will add an estimated 128GW of small-scale PV.
"We are seeing strong demand for AutoGrid Flex in Japan since going live with our first residential energy storage based VPP deployment in early 2018," said Amit Narayan, AutoGrid chief executive officer. "This partnership with Macnica will further accelerate adoption of our technology platform and allow us to serve our customers in Japan more effectively."
AutoGrid builds software applications that use artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and IoT technologies to enable a smarter and cleaner distributed energy world. The company's suite of flexibility management applications allows utilities, electricity retailers, renewable energy project developers and energy service providers to deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy by managing networked distributed energy resources (DERs) in real time and at scale.
AutoGrid has more than 3500MW of flexible capacity from DERs under contract and its customer list includes National Grid, NextEra Energy, E.On, Total, Xcel Energy, China Light & Power and more than 30 other energy companies around the world.
Founded in 2004 with offices in Japan and California, Macnica Networks is a member of Macnica Group, a technology supplier with over 200 partners and more than 20 years of experience in localisation, sales and support of technology products.