Irish company GridBeyond offers an AI-powered intelligent energy technology platform, Point. The platform enables industrial, commercial, and utility businesses to improve their operational efficiencies, generate new revenues and enhance sustainability while supporting grid operators with the transition to a net-zero economy. Here, CEO Michael Phelan tells us more about GridBeyond and how their solution can help tackle grid issues.

Can you tell us a bit about the company and its founders?

The company was founded in 2007 in Ireland by myself and Padraig Curran (CTO). What started as a research project at University College Cork on wireless smart meters and sensors for energy control automation has developed into an award-winning global business that leads the transition of the energy markets through the development and application of AI-powered technologies. 

By connecting grid operators, operational load, distributed generation, storage, EV charging and energy suppliers to intelligent energy services, GridBeyond’s vision is to build a shared energy economy that delivers sustainability, resilience, affordability and adaptability through collaboration and innovation.

Having achieved a market-leading position in Europe, at the beginning of 2020 GridBeyond launched its operations in the USA, and now, in August 2021, we are proud to announce our expansion into the Japanese market.

How does your solution contribute to the Digitalisation and Decarbonisation of the energy sector?

As energy systems increase their reliance on renewables, such as wind and solar, the grid balance is becoming more difficult to maintain. This increases the risk of blackouts and costs for end consumers. 

Renewables are not only volatile, but they also do not tend to have the same levels of inertia as carbon-based plants. Therefore, to safely increase their integration into the energy mix, grid operators rely on new technologies, such as GridBeyond’s, to monitor the balance between supply and demand, and automate the reduction or increase in energy consumption on the demand side. 

Full decarbonisation of the economy starts with advanced technological solutions that help eliminate fossil fuels from the energy networks. This can only be achieved when the grid digitalises to the point it can manage greater levels of renewable and decentralised generation, integrate technologies such as electric vehicles and unlock flexibility to balance demand and supply. 

By working with large energy consumers, decentralised generators, and providers of energy storage, GridBeyond’s technology unlocks the energy flexibility of their assets and provides this flexibility to the grid, enabling grid operators to safely integrate more renewables into the network.

What specifically attracts you about the prospect of expanding to the Japanese market?

The Japanese energy market is undergoing a significant transition towards a more decentralised, green, and sustainable future. This creates opportunities for industrial and commercial businesses, provided they have the right technologies in place to contribute to grid decarbonisation. Having a solid track record in some of the most developed energy markets worldwide (the UK, USA, and Ireland), GridBeyond is perfectly positioned to work with Japanese businesses, ensuring they maximise the benefits of active participation in energy markets while increasing sustainability and environmental credentials. 

In terms of revenue potential, there is already a solid regulatory framework that provides financial incentives for industrial & commercial (I&C) businesses. Furthermore, the market developments planned over the next few years include the frequency response services that GridBeyond can turn into profit and a strong competitive advantage for its clients and partners. High-price volatility, a characteristic of the Japanese energy market, can lead to additional savings and new revenues, thanks to the complex energy trading capabilities of GridBeyond’s AI-powered technology.

How will your solution/product help advance the Japanese energy sector?

GridBeyond will enable its future utility partners in Japan to maximise the benefits of their participation in energy markets while simultaneously supporting their end customers in generating revenue from DSR services and boosting their sustainability. 

We have a strong track record in managing load assets across numerous I&C sectors, including metal, oil & gas, chemicals, glass, and refrigeration. This includes combining load assets with storage and decentralised generation and allowing load assets to participate in the fastest and most lucrative balancing services like frequency response. 

What is more, extreme weather events, as seen in January, tend to lead to price peaks. As such, it is becoming increasingly important for electricity providers and energy service companies to deliver solutions that enable their customers to avoid these high price events or, even worse, experience blackouts. GridBeyond provides advanced technological solutions that increase business resilience to power outages and ensure energy trading takes place at the best prices for the client.