Clean Energy Ventures, Skyview Ventures, and Avista join existing investors to build the organization and expand market presence.
ARLINGTON, VA, January 22, 2020 – ConnectDER Inc., which enables utilities to seamlessly integrate residential distributed energy resources (DERs) with the electric grid, today announced that it has closed a $7.25 million Series B financing. The lead investors were Clean Energy Ventures, Skyview Ventures, and Avista Development Inc., a wholly-owned, unregulated subsidiary of Avista Corp.
“The growth of residential-scale DERs such as solar and storage presents an enormous challenge for utilities tasked with integrating them into the grid cost-effectively and with an outstanding customer experience,” said Whitman Fulton, CEO of ConnectDER. “At ConnectDER, we’re delivering technologies that can connect and transform these traditionally unmanaged resources—solar, storage, and EV charging—into grid-supporting assets at a fraction of the cost of current practices. This funding underscores the market recognition that ConnectDER offers what utilities need to maximize the value of residential-scale technologies for the 21st century.”
The company’s Smart ConnectDER™ electricity meter collar enables rapid interconnection of grid-ready DERs. ConnectDER’s technology also creates a safe, standardized, low-cost alternative to traditional wiring methods in residential settings, lowering the cost to installers while also unlocking alternative tariff models and grid management capabilities for utilities. Utilities including Consolidated Edison, Arizona Public Service, Entergy, and Pennsylvania Power and Light deploy ConnectDER meter collars to support their customers’ demand for cost-effective DER interconnection and their own operational needs for superior data from these assets.
“With record-setting U.S. residential solar installations in 2019, the need for tools to help utilities manage clean DERs is urgent,” said Daniel Goldman, Co-founder & Managing Director at Clean Energy Ventures, a Boston-based, advanced energy-focused venture capital firm. “ConnectDER’s technology is critical to seamlessly and cost-effectively integrate residential renewables with the electric grid at the scale required to help mitigate climate change. We see tremendous potential for ConnectDER’s proprietary technology to drive us toward the electric grid of the future, which is distributed, digital, and decarbonized. We are looking forward to helping the organization scale and provide value to utilities and DER installers.”
In addition to Clean Energy Ventures, this investment round was co-led by Skyview Ventures, the Series A lead investor, and Avista Development Inc., the unregulated subsidiary of the investor-owned utility, Avista Corp. Avista is known for its entrepreneurial success in creating new companies, examples include Itron and Ecova.
“The ConnectDER™ meter collar is an extension of the smart meter—it is connected to the utility, it has access to power and a breaker—so we asked, ‘What else can we do with this expanded IoT footprint at the customer meter?’,” said Mark Gustafson, Director of Innovation and Strategy at Avista Corp. “Actually we are already working on a few ideas that we believe can give utilities access to new products and services to better serve our customers.”
“Solar installers and electric utilities have already validated that ConnectDER’s solution benefits all stakeholders and should be a key ingredient of every safe and secure residential grid-connected asset,” offered Matt Coleman, Partner at Skyview Ventures. “The ConnectDER meter collar is uniquely capable of increasing the value of smart meter networks for DER adoption.”
ConnectDER will use the new capital to scale its operations and supply chain, and to enhance its core solutions for energy storage and other fast-growing residential applications across North America. ConnectDER expects to launch several new products this year, beginning at DISTRIBUTECH next week with the launch of its Smart ConnectDER Version 4.
Both Goldman and Gustafson will join Coleman and Fulton as ConnectDER’s board of directors.
ConnectDER’s mission is to make clean, distributed resources the default source of energy for the 21st century. Our products are used by some of the largest electric power utilities and solar companies throughout the U.S. to simplify and accelerate the integration of distributed resources with the grid. Our flagship product, the Smart ConnectDER™ turns the utility meter socket into a grid-friendly plug-and-play solution for adding electric vehicles, energy storage, and solar to the home. For more information, visit www.ConnectDER.com.