Uplight acquires AutoGrid to create single DER management platform

agreement handshake

Uplight has reached an agreement to acquire AutoGrid, a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) provider. The combined capabilities of Uplight and AutoGrid will provide utilities and new energy players with a single platform to integrate, orchestrate, and monetize distributed energy resources (DERs).

AutoGrid is currently owned by Schneider Electric, which is also a strategic investor in Uplight. The combined entity will employ more than 700 employees globally.

“To meet global decarbonization goals and accelerate a clean energy future, the industry needs a fully integrated platform to unlock grid flexibility at scale,” said Nadege Petit, Chief Innovation Officer of Schneider Electric. “Incorporating the demand side capabilities from AutoGrid into Uplight creates a Prosumer energy platform supporting VPPs and other load flexibility programs to make the grid more resilient, reliable, affordable, and sustainable.”

The deal is expected to close in early 2024, pending regulatory approval. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed at this time.

Why it’s an intriguing deal | An impediment to the widespread deployment of DERs is the lack of control grid operators feel they have. Utilities and energy companies have not had a single, unified platform to create grid-scale flexible capacity. Uplight hopes to solve that, delivering more residential and business customer participation, more grid-connected devices, and new energy flexibility options to utilities and other players across today’s dynamic energy value chain.

Uplight’s ability to engage and enroll customers into utility energy programs has already resulted in a reach of over 110 million homes and businesses through its clients.

“The grid is at a critical inflection point that demands integrated, effective digital solutions to accelerate electrification, efficiency, and decarbonization,” said Luis D’Acosta, CEO of Uplight.

The new platform will combine Uplight’s customer engagement capabilities and AutoGrid’s renewables and flexible capacity management. Together, Uplight and AutoGrid will bring additional value to customers who enroll grid-connected assets, broaden the ecosystem of participating devices, and enable significant deployable flexible load in service of a decarbonized and resilient grid.

“Energy companies are increasingly looking for a solution which encompasses the full spectrum of flexibility management, from grid scale batteries down to devices in people’s homes,” said Ruben Llanes, CEO of AutoGrid. “By joining forces, we are creating a truly world-class experience for those energy companies, ecosystem partners, and energy customers alike – all powered by our shared mission and global expertise.”

Uplight’s integration of the AutoGrid Flex platform will expand the number of DERs enrolled into load flexibility programs. Flex will bring additional asset types and classes, including more EVs, water heaters, HVAC systems, solar, and grid-scale storage—all powered by a single, unified platform.

Clients will be able to draw from a comprehensive set of flexibility solutions to tailor programs for utilities, grid operators, energy producers, and businesses across increased market segments and geographies. Programs will leverage Uplight’s engagement and marketplace capabilities to connect customers and assets to turnkey virtual power plants, multi-DER orchestration, DERMS, energy storage management, microgrid management, fleet management, energy market access, and beyond—managing 8,300MW of flexible resources for its clients.

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