A Pennsylvania startup Viridity Energy drew a series B investment of $14 million from Braemar Energy Ventures and Intel Capital, the company reported today.
Founded in 2008, Viridity Energy offers “distributed demand management software, systems and services,” that can turn very energy-consuming businesses into producers and sellers of power back to the grid. Viridity’s technology can also help companies get paid to control and reduce their energy consumption.
The company’s customers to-date have been retailers, hospitals, universities and various military and government agencies. In Philadelphia, Viridity set up systems for the transit authority (SEPTA) that capture energy released by braking, electric subway trains, and store it in rail-side battery arrays, routing the power back through the third rail to reuse it for trains’ acceleration.
Yep, electricity can be recycled.
SEPTA reported that the project cut expenditures directly. It also allowed SEPTA to get credits and incentives from the regional power authority for decreasing energy use during peak hours, and in general. The company plans to bring similar systems to other cities and transit systems in the U.S. this year.
Viridity Energy’s chief executive and president Audrey Zibelman said on Tuesday:
“We’re moving from an [energy] industry dominated by large-scale generation where customers are passive to one where customers are active in what they consume, and what they produce. First, there were personal computers. Now we’re going to personal energy.”
Her company plans to work as a “technology agnostic, market enabler,” she said. Its focus near term is to develop more, “micro-grids” in the northeastern U.S., California and Texas — all regions with aggressive goals to switch from hydrocarbon to renewable energy sources, or to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Its new-found capital will go towards hiring technical and sales talent to get new projects going, Zibelman said. Her company will also continue to build partnerships with other smart-grid and distributed energy players, such as the manufacturers of control systems, or banks and energy programs that finance solar, storage and power generation assets.