Fortis joins utility coalition to promote investment in smart grid 14 SEPTEMBER 2016

North American electric and gas utilities company Fortis joined utility coalition Energy Impact Partners (EIP) to increase investments in smart grid technologies.

Energy Impact Partners (EIP) is a collaborative strategic investment firm that invests in companies optimizing energy consumption and improving sustainable energy generation.

Through close collaboration with its strategic investor base, EIP seeks to bring the best companies, buying power and vision in the industry to bear on the emerging energy landscape

Fortis joins Southern Company, National Grid plc, Xcel Energy Inc., Ameren Corporation and Great Plains as a strategic partner investing in innovative technologies to improve customer service, reduce costs and increase revenues as part of its Nexus strategic partner network.

Fortis owns nine utilities operating in North America. By joining the EIP, Barry Perry, CEO of Fortis, said the firm “is committed to innovation and investigating emerging technologies in the utility sector, which will reduce costs and enable us to deliver reliable energy safely to our customers.”

In recent investments, EIP invested in AutoGrid Systems to help the company improve its big data analytics and cloud computing software for the utility industry. [US utility signs AutoGrid to improve demand response].

The investment firm also channelled its capital to Sense Labs in a bid to help utilities ensure grid stability through energy efficiency. Sense Lab was provided with the funding to enhance its home energy management technology.

James Laurito, executive vice president of Business Development at Fortis, said “Working with the team at EIP, we will remain at the forefront of emerging technologies in the ever-changing utility industry.”

Smart grid technologies funding

In late May, AutoGrid announced that it raised $20 million in Venture Capital from a consortium of investors, to accelerate adoption of Industrial IoT applications.

The California based solutions company said it will use the capital to expand the marketing, sales and adoption of its Energy Internet suite of applications technologies in North America, Asia and Europe.

The consortium of investors included the UK and US utilities backed fund EIP and Silicon Valley-based fund, Envision Ventures.

Dr. Amit Narayan, CEO of AutoGrid commented: “This investment will help accelerate our mission of creating software that can leverage data to power our future energy needs, eliminating our dependence on unsustainable fossil-fuels.”

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