Extensible Energy Funding: Beyond the Press Release
Friends, you may already have seen our announcement of the venture investment we closed recently; thanks for all the good wishes.
Funding is always trumpeted as a big deal, but it's kind of like any graduation. It earns you a ticket to the next level of maturity, nothing more or less, and you leave behind a certain amount of innocence and protection. We got some funding last week, and that's great - because we are definitely ready for the next level. The press release linked above gives you the basics, but press releases are a little formulaic, so I thought I'd expand a bit here. Many more details will emerge in the coming weeks and months, but for now, I just want to start by thanking and applauding the Team that made this happen, alphabetically by first name:
Ari, Cameron, David, Deepa, Eli, Harrison, Jackson, Keith, Lauren, Layne, Nabig, Raine, Rodin, Tor, Worth -- and the new team members joining us from Blu Ox, Casey and Mike.
This is, to say the least, an unusual team. Small and mighty, young and much-less-young, introverted and extroverted, newbies and old hands in energy markets, the primary trait they have in common is grit. Alone, any of these folks could take on a small army. Together, we now take on climate change, a mountain range of technical and market challenges, and enormous entrenched energy industry interests.
I like our chances.
To the (many) investors we pitched who missed out on the opportunity to participate in this round, not to worry - this is only the beginning. Load flexibility is the biggest energy opportunity of the coming decade. The energy transition to renewables on the supply side is now well underway. Wind and solar are cheaper than gas and coal - so the next few terawatts of renewables are pretty much inevitable.
The demand side, however, is where the action is.
If we can tap into the inherent flexibility of loads on the customer side of the meter (the true "grid edge"), the transition will continue all the way to 100% renewables; if not, we could stall out far short of that goal. Clean, distributed, renewable resources can democratize the electricity industry while improving reliability and resilience -- but only to the extent that we can sync up usage and generation. Electricity is funny stuff - we use it in the same millisecond that it's produced - so we need to change the way electricity is consumed as we change how it is produced.
Yes, batteries have a big role to play - but customer load flexibility remains vastly cheaper and more convenient for most customers and suppliers. (Debate me later, ok?) What's more, smart charging of stationary batteries is still a rarity behind the meter, while smart charging of EVs is even more uncommon. (Can we agree that a static timer is not "smart charging" please?) All these resources (and HVAC systems, and a host of other flexible loads) need smart software control, and that's what we're building. Not a separate system for each device, but a customer-centric system that allows the customer to benefit from all the flexibility in their facilities – all while delivering the “four Cs” of Comfort, Control, Cost control, and Carbon reduction.
Building owners, property managers, facilities managers - come see us. We'll save you big bucks on your current utility bills and future-proof your building for the coming changes in energy pricing and supply.
Solar and storage project developers, HVAC installers, energy efficiency companies, building control vendors -- come see us. We'll raise the ROI on any of your commercial projects, and put a critical new tool in your tool belt.
Utilities, grid operators, customer choice aggregators (CCAs) -- come see us. We'll help you tap into the giant load flexibility resource already built on your system, while helping to accommodate more renewables on your grid faster and more economically. If the idea of load flexibility or demand flexibility markets is new to you, stay tuned – you’ll be hearing a lot more about this whole space in the coming days and decades.
If the idea of load flexibility or demand flexibility markets is new to you, stay tuned – you’ll be hearing a lot more about this whole space in the coming days and decades.