GridPoint has changed again.
The company announced today that it has been selected to erect 15 solar arrays for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that will provide 436 kilowatts of power. It will be ready by August.
The shift to acting as a developer of commercial-scale solar projects marks -- by my accounting -- the fourth business strategy for the company. The Arlington, VA-based company, which has raised over $200 million from investors, started out in the early part of the decade promoting a system for managing energy in upper-middle-class homes. Because energy prices were still comparatively low at that point, the market failed to develop.
Later, GridPoint decided to take the software and transform it into an operating system for the grid. To enhance its portfolio, the company went on a buying spree. It bought V2Green, which allows utilities to communicate with electric cars, in 2008, and followed in 2009 with Lixar, which makes building energy management consoles and tools.
in February 2010, GridPoint acquired Standard Renewable Energy, a retrofitter with a solar division, a move that ushered in phase three. Under the new plan, GridPoint started to offer residential and commercial energy retrofits, advice and help on distributed energy generation, and then used the software tools it has concocted over the years to monitor and manage the facilities it touches. It even landed a retrofit contract with the U.S. Postal Service, although the contract was inherited from acquisitions.
Some might argue that developing commercial solar fields and retrofitting are the same thing, but the businesses tend to operate somewhat differently, so we are calling it GridPoint 4.0.
"We will beat $100 million in revenue in 2010," Corsell told us in March 2010. "We and Silver Spring are by far the most successful [smart grid] companies."
It might start to make sense to compare themselves to Recurrent Energy now.
--Andy Tang, the omnipresent PG&E smart grid exec, has joined Scientific Conservation, the rapidly growing vendor of building analytics tools. Before joining PG&E, Tang worked at Intel. Intel and General Electric are investors in SCI and both conglomerates will deploy SCI's software in certain facilities. Oh, the corporate cycle of life.
--Finally, we've heard one report of mishaps with PG&E's "smart" gas meters. Steve Goldberg , a partner at Venrock, last week mentioned during a panel at ConnectivityWeek that he's been wrestling with the utility for months to straighten out billing issues that began to occur after PG&E installed a smart gas meter at his house. Basically, his gas bill doubled but usage did not. We haven't had more reports on this, but we will look into it. Silver Spring Networks does not make the PG&E gas meters. Aclara does. I'm getting one next week, apparently.
Goldberg also pointed out that 108 home networking/automation companies have received VC funding.
“Not too many of them have gained a lot of traction,” he said.