Grid Modernization

BP invests in artificial intelligence company Grid Edge

Marking the latest sign that traditional oil and natural gas firms see emerging technology applications that can be utilized in the energy sector as worthy investments, BP Ventures recently led a Series A funding round in Grid Edge, a developer of artificial intelligence technology that enables customers to predict, control and optimize a building’s energy profile.

“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,” BP Ventures noted in a recent news release.

Using data including weather forecasts and expected occupancy, United Kingdom-based Grid Edge’s predictive energy management technology allows 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, according to BP Ventures. 

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 centers can all benefit from the technology, BP Ventures said.

BP Ventures was set up more than 10 years ago to identify and invest in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies. Since then, BP has invested over $500 million in technology companies across more than 50 entities with more than 300 co-investors.

Additional information about Grid Edge is available here.

Shell investing in blockchain, storage

Another traditional oil and gas company, Shell, is investing in another emerging technology, blockchain, for use in the energy sector.

Shell Ventures and Sumitomo over the summer said that they made an investment in LO3, a start-up developing blockchain applications for the energy sector.

And earlier in the year, Shell agreed to acquire 100% of Germany-based sonnen, a company that offers a residential storage product in the U.S.