Emissions, Instrumentation & Controls, Renewables

National Grid goes Silicon Valley in Search of AI, DR, SaaS & Renewable Ventures

An investment arm of utility National Grid is embedding itself in the land of the tech giants and launching new ventures aimed at the future of energy delivery.

National Grid Partners (NGP) has opened its doors for business in Silicon Valley, and already is funding five startups who will partner on new ventures. The quintet of companies—AutoGrid, ClimaCell, Leap, Omnidian and Sidetrack—are focused on various frontiers, from predictive maintenance, demand response, weather forecasting to distributed and solar energy.

Announced earlier this year, Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of National Grid plc, and Senior Vice President of NGP, will be leading this operation. Formerly of Intel Capital and The Westly Group, Lisa brings her extensive technology, investing, and energy experience to the position, ushering in a new phase for National Grid.

“Whether it’s investing in new technologies or getting smarter about how we work every day, we need to think more than one step ahead,” Lambert said in a statement. “That’s the role of NGP. We are the eyes and ears of the business, searching for the new ideas and breakthrough innovations that will keep us at the forefront of the energy industry.”

NGP will source, fund and build companies addressing innovations in energy and information technology. It’s launch partners include:

  • AutoGrid, which leverages big data to analyze energy data and create real-time actionable information, aims to help with predictive maintenance and commercial industrial demand response in the US.
  • ClimaCell, a next-generation weather forecasting company, aims to provide by-the-minute demand response for the smart grid for business optimization as well as asset-specific outage forecasts for storm response.
  • Leap, a marketplace for distributed energy resources that enables a more effective monetization of grid services, enabling automated trading on energy markets.
  • Omnidian, a provider of comprehensive protection plans for investments in residential and commercial solar energy systems, aims to optimize and control Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), data analytics and predictive capability as well as provide insight into the photovoltaic (PV) market.
  • Sitetracker, a SaaS platform that enables growth-focused innovators in critical infrastructure industries, such as utilities and telecom, to optimize their entire asset lifecycle.

“National Grid continuously strives to exceed the expectations of its customers. We at AutoGrid share this vision and we hope our state-of-the-art suite of energy internet applications allow National Grid and other energy and utility industry leaders to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy services in a distributed energy world,” says Amit Narayan, Founder and CEO of AutoGrid Systems, Inc.

National Grid Partners is based in Silicon Valley with additional team members based in the northeast US and UK. Our investment focus has a global reach, ensuring National Grid plc is on the pulse of and collaborating with the most cutting-edge technology companies in energy and IT.