GridPoint Inc. announced Tuesday that it has raised $120 million to bolster its "smart grid" technology development, and it has acquired V2Green, a company with technology aimed at helping utilities manage the future power demands of charging plug-in vehicles from the electric grid.
Terms of the V2Green acquisition were not given, but GridPoint called it a "first step" in an acquisition strategy to be fueled by the $120 million investment from undisclosed previous investors, spokeswoman Suzanne Lauer said.
GridPoint, founded in 2003, got its start with products that monitor electricity use in buildings, convert the direct current produced bysolar wind and other alternative-energy sources into grid-usable electricity, and allow the sale of excess electricity back to the grid.
But it's the Arlington, Va.-based company's SmartGrid Platform, aimed at giving utilities technology to manage the flow and storage of power at a moment's notice, that has been getting the attention of investors more recently. (See GridPoint Raises $32M, With More to Come.)
In May, GridPoint was chosen by Xcel Energy to participate in the utility's SmartGridCity initiative in Boulder, Colo., an effort aimed at deploying an array of smart grid technologies at an estimated final cost of about $100 million.
Part of the smart grid challenge will likely include preparing the grid for the increased power demands to come from charging plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles (see Prepping for Plug-In Hybrids to Hit the Grid), and GridPoint has entered that space as well.
In March, GridPoint announced successful tests of a "smart-charging" energy platform with utility Duke Energy that controlled when the vehicle charged through software contained within an electrical outlet. (See Laying the Grid Groundwork for Plug-In Hybrids.)
The acquisition of Seattle-based V2Green, which makes technology to allow plug-in vehicles to communicate with and provide power back to utilities, is meant to bolster GridPoint's offerings in the plug-in vehicle-charging field, Peter L. Corsell, GridPoint president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
Beyond controlling the times that vehicles charge, V2Green's "vehicle to grid" technology is aimed at allowing vehicles to serve as temporary power storage sources for times of heavy grid demand. V2Green in October installed its technology on converted plug-in hybrid vehicles for an Xcel Energy pilot project, and recently demonstrated its products at the Democratic National Convention.
GridPoint didn't say whether it had identified other acquisition targets for its newly raised $120 million, which represents the largest single round of funding for the company.
As of this spring, GridPoint had raised roughly $102 million, putting it among one of a number of "smart grid" technology companies getting increased interest from investors in the past few years. (See Giving the Grid a Brain.)
In October the company raised $48.5 million in its fourth round of funding, which was led by Goldman Sachs Group and Susquehanna Private Equity Investments and also included New Enterprise Associates, Perella Weinberg Partners and Robeco. In March it received a $15 million strategic investment from the Quercus Trust.