|GridPoint’s SmartGrid Platform. Click to enlarge.|
GridPoint Inc., a developer of a smart grid platform, has acquired Seattle-based V2Green, a provider of vehicle-to-grid technology—including on-board vehicle communication devices—enabling enable utilities to “smart charge” electric vehicles anywhere within a service territory. (Earlier post.)
GridPoint says that the V2Green transaction is the first step in its acquisition strategy, which has been fueled by a recent $120 million equity financing. In conjunction with the financing, which is being predominately funded by existing investors, all of the company’s outstanding shares have been converted into common stock. To date, GridPoint has raised in excess of $220 million.
GridPoint’s platform applies information technology to the electric grid to provide utilities with an intelligent network of distributed energy resources that controls load, stores energy and produces power. The platform offers utilities a single interface, located in a utility’s control room, for managing a variety of distributed energy assets including plug-in electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, advanced storage technologies and household devices such as thermostats, electric water heaters, pool pumps, etc.
GridPoint Energy Manager is the intelligent node within the home or business that communicates with the GridPoint Operations Center. The operations center acts as an intelligent hub that processes and exchanges information across the platform and provides software applications for utility and customer control.
Utilities gain direct control over distributed technologies through the GridPoint Control Console, located in the utility control room, and customers manage their energy online through the GridPoint Customer Portal.
The V2Green System establishes intelligent, two-way communication between plug-in vehicles and the grid. Once vehicles are “grid-aware”, utilities can implement real-time monitoring and charging control strategies, including Smart Charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services to meet the needs of both drivers and utilities.
The system has two components: the V2Green Server and the V2Green Connectivity Module (VCM). The V2Green Server is software that runs within the utility’s grid operations center; it communicates with plug-in vehicles, controls the scheduling, timing, and extent of plug-in vehicle charging and storage, and manages the information generated by these activities.
V2Green’s integrated client-server solution and on-board vehicle communication device increase GridPoint’s smart charging capabilities by enabling utilities to manage charging of grid-aware vehicles in real time from any outlet within their service territory. Additionally, online interfaces provide data on vehicle performance, charging behavior and status for both the driver and the utility. V2Green has deployed its technology in pilot programs with Xcel Energy, Austin Energy and Seattle City Light.
We have a great deal of synergy with GridPoint including our software-based approach to modernizing the grid. Our combined capabilities will enable utilities to mitigate the impact of plug-in electric vehicles on the grid while reducing carbon emissions and providing their customers with reduced rates for off-peak charging.—John Clark, President and CEO, V2Green.
A recent Oak Ridge National Laboratory study found that 160 new power plants would be needed to handle additional load if all electric vehicles were plugged in at 5 pm, however, if charging times were shifted to off-peak hours, only zero to eight new power plants would be required. (Earlier post.)
In March, GridPoint announced a commercial test of smart charging with Duke Energy, which was conducted via a controlled outlet in a residential garage.
Xcel Energy has selected the GridPoint Platform for its $100 million SmartGridCity initiative in Boulder, Colorado. Both GridPoint and V2Green are part of the “SmartGridCity Experience” mobile exhibit and featured in the first SmartGridCity home, the University of Colorado’s chancellor’s residence.