Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider acquires stake in AutoGrid to boost AI adoption

Steve Rogerson
June 4, 2019
 
Schneider Electric has invested in California-based AutoGrid, a developer of flexibility management software for the energy industry. The investment makes Schneider a major shareholder in the company and establishes a co-innovation partnership focused on driving AI and machine learning for utilities and commercial and industrial companies.
 
French multinational Schneider Electric will leverage AutoGrid's Energy Internet and Flex platforms to add artificial intelligence for customers' distributed energy projects. This will accelerate capabilities for Schneider's microgrid and behind the meter products, as well as advance its ability to serve the utility segment as the grid becomes more distributed and prosumers demand greater participation and control over their energy usage.
 
AutoGrid has a differentiated approach and scalable products that let utilities and distributed energy resources such as microgrids connect, allowing commercial and industrial clients to monetise their renewable energy assets.
 
"The combination of AutoGrid's software driven strategy, with Schneider Electric's global footprint and expertise in a variety of end-user segments is a win-win for both companies, and both companies can co-innovate throughout the energy value chain," said Heriberto Diarte, Schneider Electric head of external innovation and ventures.
 
The investment is led by Schneider Electric Ventures, part of Schneider Electric's newly formed Innovation at the Edge programme. Innovation at the Edge is focused on incubating, investing and partnering with start-ups and other companies outside of Schneider Electric's core business to nurture ideas that will achieve a sustainable energy future.
 
"We're at an inflection point in the energy industry," said Amit Narayan, founder and CEO and AutoGrid. “We've seen the promise of clean technologies and need focused partnerships, investment and innovation to drive the promise forward. A closer relationship with Schneider Electric as an investor, partner and board member creates a path towards our common goal of creating a more sustainable energy future."
 
Schneider Electric Ventures has close to 40 strategic active alliances with start-ups and incubation projects.
 
AutoGrid builds AI-powered software applications that enable a smarter 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 optimising networked distributed energy resources (DERs) in real time and at scale. AutoGrid has more than 5000MW of DERs under contract with Xcel Energy, National Grid, Total, CPS Energy, CLP Holdings and over 35 other energy companies around the world.