BP expands its digital energy portfolio by investing in energy management platform, Grid Edge

AI technology predicts, optimises and controls a building’s energy demand

BP Ventures has led a Series A funding round in Grid Edge – a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) technology – that enables customers to predict, control and optimise their building’s energy profile. The investment is in support of BP Alternative Energy’s wider strategy of low-carbon power, storage and digital energy.

Grid Edge’s cloud-based software anticipates a building’s energy demand, allowing building managers to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions, while maintaining comfort for users.

Using data including weather forecasts and expected occupancy, Grid Edge’s predictive energy management technology enables customers to adapt their energy use, leverage periods of high renewable power generation, and effectively use their building’s flexibility in energy demand and generation like a giant battery, to reduce costs and carbon emissions.

The technology typically enables customers to lower carbon emissions by 10 to 15%, with some registering a reduction of more than 30%. Airports, business districts and shopping centres can all benefit from the technology.

Dev Sanyal, chief executive of BP Alternative Energy, said: “This investment is in support of our strategy to create an ecosystem of distinctive, digitally-enabled, low carbon businesses for commercial and industrial customers. This investment in Grid Edge complements other recent investments in companies in this area, such as Voltaware. We are excited by the possibilities that working together will bring.”

Nacho Gimenez, managing director, BP Ventures, added: “Digital technologies are a critical component to drive the transition to a low-carbon future. Using data, we can unlock the flexibility in-built in existing energy systems. This is the most efficient way to reduce the carbon intensity and power consumption required to keep buildings comfortable. Grid Edge’s machine learning and data-driven approach is what really sets them apart. We look forward to working closely together and welcoming them to the BP Ventures family.”

Grid Edge was spun out of Aston University’s Energy Research Institute in 2016 and uses AI to empower customers, businesses and other organisations to make the most of their energy assets.

Tom Anderson, chief executive, Grid Edge said: “It is only a few short years since the founding partners left Aston University to pursue our vision of putting data-driven, intelligent control into the hands of energy consumers and we’re proud to be working with some of the UK’s leading building operators to optimise their energy profile through our predictive AI technology. We are delighted to have brought on board two world-leading investors who believe in our vision and share our ambitions to change the way people use energy.”

Family office investment house Goldacre joined BP as co-investors in the funding round, enhancing its portfolio of investments in technology for smart real estate and future cities.

Matthew Harris, managing director, Goldacre, added: “Optimising energy demand is now an essential requirement of businesses and consumers. Reducing carbon emissions in a way that puts building operators in control and allows them to prioritise occupants’ comfort levels is a challenge, but one that can and will be solved through leveraging smarter digital technologies. This investment demonstrates that, for Goldacre, this is not simply an aspiration; it is being delivered today.”

This investment will enable Grid Edge to expand in the UK market, utilising existing partnerships in the real estate sector, and explore further opportunities in Europe.