Ovo ups its distributed energy game with VCharge smart grid buy

In a move that will beef up its distributed energy systems capabilities, U.K.-based Ovo Energy has acquired U.S. smart grid startup VCharge.

As reported by Smart Cities World, Ovo bought the Providence, R.I.-based VCharge for an undisclosed sum.

Ovo, based in Bristol, is one of England’s independent energy providers, buying and selling electricity and gas to supply domestic properties throughout the U.K.

The VCharge acquisition gives Ovo access to new energy technologies for distributed energy systems, as the market moves away from the centralized energy generation model.

Ovo says VCharge’s proprietary platform paves the way for the rapid switchover to renewable energy and energy storage. VCharge’s technology solves the problem of intermittent renewable power by providing energy storage buffers.

VCharge’s technology relies on advanced algorithms to balance individual energy user requirements with grid requirements.

This technology was used in trial applications in social housing units in London and Scotland. The results proved that the technology allowed for better heating management while helping address fuel poverty in local communities.

“VCharge’s vision is to help electricity grids around the world with the transition to becoming 100 per cent renewable, as the cost of renewable energy becomes more competitive with that of unsustainable fossil fuels,” said VCharge managing director Toby Ferenczi “Joining forces with OVO will dramatically accelerate how quickly we can achieve this goal, and will also enable us to address other important issues such as alleviating fuel poverty in the UK.”

Making power affordable?

Meanwhile, the firm sees the technology advantages from the VCharge acquisition as complimentary to the potential to address electricity affordability issues for many citizens.

“We believe this platform will harness the potential of energy storage in reducing dependency on fossil fuels, while helping to make energy more affordable for all,” said Ovo CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick.

In the partnership, VCharge said it plans to offer free heating control upgrades of electric storage heaters to 1.5 million Great Britain households.

The deal comes against the background of British efforts use smart grid technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by millions of tons per year.

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