Limejump is a classic example of a startup bringing a big data and cloud-based solution to a legacy market, and in doing so has the potential to transform that market.
Calling itself a technology-driven utility, the company helps high-energy intensity businesses and small-scale distributed generators plug into the National Grid’s demand response programmes. This enables those businesses and generators to earn additional revenue for ramping down energy usage or ramping up energy production during peak times.
To further develop its proposition, Limejump has raised a new £1.4 million round of funding. Described as a ‘seed extension’, investment comes from the U.K. government-backed Angel CoFund, in addition to JamJar Investments, the investment vehicle from the founders of Innocent Juices, and existing investor Passion Capital. The startup says it will use the new capital to invest in R&D, product and technology, and customer acquisition.
“Small-scale distributed generators and businesses do not currently have the same opportunities available to them for being flexible with their energy export and import as larger power plants in the U.K. energy market,” explains Limejump co-founder Erik Nygard.
Limejump’s customers already include NWF Agriculture and Planet Ice & Silver Blades Ice Rinks, both energy intensive businesses. Limejump’s software and technology is helping them get better data on their energy consumption and take part in the National Grid’s demand response programme.
In the case of NWF Agriculture, it can optionally ramp down its feed processing factory lines when National Grid issues an alert that a system stress event is approaching. Think the classic example of Brits putting the kettle on to make a cup of tea at half time during a high profile football match. This can have a major impact on the grid as there is not enough supply to meet the increased demand.
What’s interesting is that this has the potential to be done in near real-time — think seconds and minutes, not hours in advance — and automatically by connecting Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant platform to a company’s machinery and other energy intensive infrastructure. That way energy usage can be shifted to help meet the needs of the grid in a way that doesn’t negatively impact a business’ ability to operate.
Similarly, Limejump’s tech enables small energy suppliers or ‘small-scale distributed generators’ — that is those companies and organisations that have their own backup or supplementary powers generators — to also take part in National Grid’s demand– response programmes.
This typically means switching on their own generators during peak times or ramping up energy production, thus exporting power to help the National Grid balance supply with demand.
Adds Nygard: “Our business model is comparable to Uber’s in that we make use of excess capacity to drive efficiency and excellence in customer service. We do not own any generation assets but rather we use our customers’ spare capacity to balance the electricity transmission network, operated by National Grid.”