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Exclusive: GridBeyond raises $55M for virtual power plants

Illustration of a wireframe futuristic landscape with large power lines, surrounded by abstract circles and radical colors

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Power grid software company GridBeyond closed a €52 million ($55 million) Series C round to build out its AI tech and grow customers in the U.S.

Why it matters: The surge in clean electricity is leading to increased interest in virtual power plants that can provide low-cost grid flexibility.

Zoom in: The round was led by Klima, an energy tech growth fund from financial services company Alantra.

  • Other investors include climate tech VCs Energy Impact Partners, infrastructure company ABB, energy company Constellation and Japanese engineering company Yokogawa Electric Corporation.

How it works: GridBeyond, founded in 2010 and based in Dublin, has developed grid software including a network of virtual power plant relationships with commercial customers, mostly in Europe.

  • Last year GridBeyond acquired Veritone's energy business, including its grid AI tech and footprint in the U.S.

The big picture: Virtual power plants (or VPPs) aggregate customer energy load using technologies like building thermostats, EV chargers and batteries.

  • Last week, a report found that in California virtual power plants could grow by five times their current levels to aggregate 7.5 gigawatts of electricity for California utilities, meeting 15% of the state's peak demand.

Yes, but: VPPs haven't been adopted at levels desired due to regulatory lag, lack of consumer acceptance, and wholesale market barriers.

  • AI can make VPPs operate more intelligently using greater volumes of data and making better predictions.

The bottom line: The market for VPPs and grid AI is set to grow, and companies are tapping private investors to compete at scale.

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