This Deal Matters: European Utility, E.ON, makes strides towards a smarter grid with investment in AutoGrid



German utility giant, E.ON, announced on Wednesday it would lead a $12.75 million investment round in Silicon Valley based start-up, AutoGrid. AutoGrid provides smart grid analytics to the utility industry through a software-enabled energy management system. The company has already solidified strategic partnerships with Silver Spring Networks and U.S. utilities in California, Oklahoma and Texas to deploy its Demand Response Optimization and Management System (DROMS).

E.ON’s recent investment in the smart grid start-up will help the utility reposition themselves in the increasingly competitive landscape of European utilities. AutoGrid will leverage its big data analytics to manage intermittent power flows brought on by renewable energy. With more and more renewable energy entering the grid, E.ON is challenged with ensuring the stability of the grid while providing a smooth transition to cleaner fuels. Earlier this summer, E.ON invested $120 million in fuel cell manufacturer, Bloom Energy. These most recent investments, along with other strategic bets on start-ups including FirstFuel, will help E.ON thrive in a deregulated and distributed energy market, and are examples of the progressive thinking utilities have evolved in adapting to a changing energy landscape.