Japanese IT and engineering conglomerate Mitsui has announced plans to invest $15 million in Viridity Energy (Philadelphia, USA), an energy-demand specialist.
The investment is pending approval by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but it would give Mitsui an equity stake in Viridity, of an undisclosed amount, and a position on Viridity’s board.
Mitsui describes the investment as part of its strategy to expand into smart grid IT and renewable energy development and management. As part of the deal, it will work with Viridity on distributing the US company’s VPower technology in the Asia Pacific region.
VPower is a technology platform used for the management of smart grids.
Mitsui says the partnership will combine its own financing know-how with Viridity’s expertise in storage optimisation and give rise to energy projects that feature storage as a significant component.
“Viridity Energy and Mitsui & Co. share the view that customer load has the potential to serve as a dynamic and reliable grid resource that is less expensive and more sustainable to society,” said Audrey Zibelman, chair and chief executive of Viridity Energy, in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with Mitsui to expand the availability of dynamic load management in global markets to strengthen the ability for all resources, including consumption, to work seamlessly together to provide reliable power in the most economical, efficient, and sustainable manner possible.”
Viridity’s focus is on demand-side management technologies. The company claims that its products can help large energy consumers to reduce their energy spending through the use of smart grids, which can reduce demand during peak periods.
Demand-side technology is already popular in the US but is now catching on in other parts of the world.