Schneider buy to boost edge AI in power

June 03, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
French power giant Schneider Electric has become the biggest investor in a US startup AutoGrid developing edge AI software for the energy industry.
French power giant Schneider Electric has backed a US startup developing artificial intelligence software for the energy industry.

The deal makes Schneider a major shareholder in San Francisco-based AutoGrid and establishes a co-innovation partnership focused on edge AI and machine learning for utilities and commercial and industrial companies.

Schneider will use AutoGrid's Energy Internet and Flex platforms to add edge AI systems for customers' distributed energy projects. This will accelerate new capabilities for Schneider Electric's microgrid and behind the meter solutions, as well as advance its ability to better serve the utility segment as the grid becomes more distributed and prosumers demand greater participation and control over their energy usage.

AutoGrid's scalable software allows utilities and distributed energy resources like microgrids to connect, allowing commercial and industrial clients to cash in on renewable energy assets. "The combination of AutoGrid's software driven strategy, with Schneider Electric's global footprint and expertise in a variety of end-user segments is a win-win for both companies, and both companies can co-innovate throughout the energy value chain," said Heriberto Diarte, Schneider Electric Head of External Innovation & Ventures.

The investment is led by Schneider Electric Ventures, part of Schneider Electric's newly formed Innovation at the Edge Program. Innovation at the Edge is focused on incubating, investing, and partnering with start-ups and other innovative companies outside of Schneider Electric's core business to nurture ideas that will achieve a sustainable energy future.

"We're at an inflection point in the energy industry. We've seen the promise of clean technologies and need focused partnerships, investment and innovation to drive the promise forward," said Amit Narayan, Founder and CEO, AutoGrid. "A closer relationship with Schneider Electric as an investor, partner and board member creates a path toward our common goal of creating a more sustainable energy future".

Schneider Electric Ventures has close to 40 strategic active alliances with startups and incubation projects.

www.schneider-electric.com/en/about-us/ventures/

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