3M New Ventures, Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures Invest $13M in Varentec To Enable the Next Generation of Grid Edge Volt-VAR Control
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 13, 2015—Varentec, the leading provider of grid edge Volt-VAR control solutions, today announced it has raised $13 million in the first closing of its Series C financing. Led by 3M New Ventures, the round includes investments from existing investors Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. The financing round will fund Varentec’s expansion of its software applications and real-time advanced power electronics capabilities, as well as the international deployment of the company’s GEMS™ software platform and ENGO™ grid edge control devices.
Distribution utilities can implement Varentec’s technology to serve a variety of Operational Excellence objectives, such as reducing technical losses, implementing grid-side energy efficiency and peak demand reduction, or helping postpone investments in fossil fuel generating capacity, notably in the context of high distributed PV or wind penetration.
“Following the outstanding performance of our 11 systems installed & operating since the beginning of the year, at a period when grid edge challenges can no longer be handled by slower, centralized-based control systems, Varentec is experiencing rapid adoption from our target customer segments, Investor Owned Utilities and Public & Cooperative Power Utilities,” said Varentec Chairman & CEO, Guillaume Dufosse. “This first round of funding, backed by renowned forward-looking investors, continues to validate our disruptive and value-creating approach to both Utilities and electric consumers. We are excited to include 3M as an investor and explore potential opportunities with 3M’s existing advanced technologies and global sales reach in the Utility sector that could accelerate Varentec’s international expansion.”
Varentec provides innovative solutions for the nascent generation of distributed grid control. The Varentec GEMS software platform, coupled with ENGO power electronic devices deployed on the low voltage side of the distribution grid, controls voltage and reactive power in real time and eradicates grid edge voltage volatility, even when high numbers of distributed PV solar systems are deployed on a circuit.
Varentec’s technology provides a turnkey, stand-alone solution to Distribution Utilities. In deployments across the U.S. and Canada, Varentec’s technology is providing advanced grid edge Volt-VAR control, and has achieved unparalleled energy savings of 5% or more, during peak times or day-to-day operations, while significantly reducing technical losses.
Varentec, ENGO and GEMS are trademarks of Varentec Corporation.
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