Schneider Electric to buy out AutoGrid, combining AI optimization with energy transition efforts

Published on May 12, 2022 by Chris Galford

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With signatures put to a definitive agreement this week, global energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric intends to purchase artificial intelligence (AI)-driven distributed energy resources (DERs) optimizer AutoGrid, pending regulatory approval.

AutoGrid itself pitched the move as one that could enhance both its resources and global reach, potentially accelerating the growth of its product innovations and ability to reach new geographic regions. This would allow more energy companies to access tools to add renewable sources and DER to the grid in the years to come. It is also a practical evolution of a partnership between the two companies that has been ongoing since 2015 and resulted in a fully integrated Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) and Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) two years ago.

“Schneider Electric and Autogrid have a shared vision for a more sustainable world through electrification, digitization, and decarbonization,” Nadège Petit, Chief Innovation Officer at Schneider Electric, said. “With Autogrid, we can deliver significant value to energy companies by delivering cutting-edge technologies to drive adoption of smart grids and reduction of carbon emissions. We are excited to create maximum impact with our customers by accelerating the reach and scale of Autogrid.”

Schneider also looked at this as an opportunity to draw more customers onto more sustainable and efficient grids. The systems the pair developed together were already ranked the top DER management system in January 2020 by independent research firm Guidehouse Insights.

Founded in 2010, the climate change-focused AutoGrid has sought to make management systems more flexible to allow for wider-scale renewable energy adoption. It has developed systems such as the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and Distributed Energy Resources Management (DERMS) platform to provide sustainable alternatives to more expensive, fossil fuel dependent backup power plants. These have offered the ability to manage and deploy more capacity from batteries and electric vehicles while boosting flexible load capacities and creating a more two-way flowing grid.

“We started AutoGrid with the singular mission of accelerating the world’s access to sustainable energy,” Amit Narayan, founder and CEO of AutoGrid, said. “I am grateful for the help we have received from Schneider Electric as an ardent supporter throughout this journey.”

The companies expect their new deal to close in Q3 2022.