- California startup Advanced Microgrid Solutions has raised $34 million in a Series B funding round, bringing on board a wide range of investors looking to dip a toe into the distributed energy resource space.
- The funding includes commitments from DBL Partners, Energy Impact Partners (which is backed by about a dozen utility companies), Southern Co., Macquarie Capital, and others.
- Macquarie last year agreed to commit $200 million to finance energy storage projects. Greentech Media points out that instead of project finance, AMS will use the $52 million it has raised so far to expand into new markets and grow its software.
AMS officials say the future of energy is distributed, and judging by their investor list, many companies appear to have the same outlook.
Other investors, either directly or through Energy Impact, include: National Grid, Xcel Energy, Ameren, Great Plains Energy, Fortis, AGL, Avista, Madison Gas and Electric Co., TEPCO, PTT Public Company Ltd., and OGE Energy Corp. The firm also noted former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a repeat investor.
The investors give AMS access to global expertise, the company said, and will allow the company to scale deployment of its "Armada" optimization platform for building-to-grid services.
For instance, Wal-Mart signed an agreement earlier this year for AMS to design, install and operate energy storage systems at the retail giant’s stores. The initial phase of the deal calls for AMS to install 40 MWh of storage at 27 Walmart stores in Southern California.
AMS’ cloud-based allows for "continuous financial optimization of customer-sited energy resources for end-use customers, and aggregates behind-the-meter resources into fully optimized, dispatchable portfolios for utility service," the company claims.
Utilities are increasingly looking to connect more resources for grid balancing, including solar and electric vehicles. “Optimization of these distributed resources is the missing link in the value chain between end-use customers and the grid,” said Mark Lantrip, president and chief executive of Southern Company Services.