By: Sarah Wenning

TechConnect Innovation Tracking: AutoGrid Systems, Inc., a TechConnect Accelerator participant, ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, 2012

AutoGrid Systems, Inc. is a leader in Big Data analytics and software services for empowering utilities and end-users to control power consumption and costs.  AutoGrid is an ARPA-E Awardee in the Green Electricity Network Integration (GENI) program.  TechConnect had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Amit Narayan, Founder & CEO.
“Utilities, grid operators and end-users all want to achieve a greater visibility into their power consumption and costs. A large portion of the electricity generated worldwide is simply wasted because it can’t be dynamically monitored or controlled,” said Dr. Narayan. “Big Data analytics and software-based controls will help balance supply with demand and ultimately turn software into the cheapest, cleanest source of power.”
In October 2012, AutoGrid, publicly unveiled its Energy Data Platform (EDP), a highly-scalable and secure software platform for mining the wealth of smart grid data, as well as its Demand Response Optimization and Management Systems (DROMS), a cloud-based demand management service that expands the market and versatility of dynamic pricing and power management services. 
Requiring no additional hardware, AutoGrid believes DROMS cuts the cost of demand response systems by 90 percent while increasing the “yield” of power from demand response events by 30 percent. DROMS has already been deployed and used in demand response programs for City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
The core of AutoGrid’s platform is a dynamic, physics-based optimization engine that reflects the complex interrelationships between generation, transmission, distribution and consumption of power in a region, or within a facility. Similar to e-commerce recommendation engines or algorithms for predicting weather, EDP uses petabytes of structured and unstructured data to create forecasts of future consumption and grid conditions by examining ongoing trends and relationships between millions of variables. With EDP, utilities can unearth usage patterns within its customer base or understand the impact of pricing signals, weather patterns and other variables on the behavior of its customers to anticipate grid stress. Industrial customers can dissect its processes to trim peak loads and craft an energy strategy to significantly reduce overall energy costs. The system learns continuously and becomes more accurate as more data becomes available, and can optimize the system better as it is used more and more. 
“The first wave of smart grid infrastructure investments helped utilities, industrial manufacturers, facility owners and grid operators to obtain data about power consumption, delivery and costs. AutoGrid helps these customers take maximum advantage of this data to improve their operations, consume power more efficiently and make the overall system more reliable,” said Dr. Narayan. “By getting rid of inefficiencies in the overall system, AutoGrid converts energy data into a new source of energy”.
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