Siemens and Viridity Energy Partner on Smart Grid Solution

Siemens and Viridity Energy Partner on Smart Grid Solution

Siemens Energy and Viridity Energy have formed a strategic partnership that's intended to blend the scope and reach of the power engineering giant with the startup's new technology for next generation demand response and energy management.

Siemens and Viridity announced the move Wednesday.

The relationship is designed to bring virtual power plant functionality -- which enables a cluster of distributed generation installations, including micro combined heat and power, small hydro and wind turbines, to be run by a central control -- to large users of electricity at big sites, such as university campuses, government complexes or industrial facilities.

To provide the solution, Viridity will combine Siemens' decentralized energy management system, known as DEMS, with the startup's VPower system.

Together, the smart grid technology enables customers to better manage their power loads, power generation and participation in demand response programs, and ultimately sell excess energy to the public grid.

"Electric utilities and electric customers are increasingly recognizing the value that distributed resources can have on the grid, " said Viridity Energy President and CEO Audrey Zibelman. "This value can be maximized when customers are able to optimize individual load management and generation resources as integrated, dynamic resources on the grid."

The beauty of the system, Zibelman told and, is that using it "customers become active participants in energy markets, instead being of just passive consumers."

It's a bit like the difference between "YouTube and just watching TV," she added -- and with the system, except customers can make money in addition to savings they derive from greater efficiency.

At Siemens Energy Inc., Michael Edmonds, vice president and general manager of the Energy Automation division, noted that by working with firms like Viridity Energy his company "supplies Smart Grid solutions along the entire energy conversion chain."

And while Siemens no stranger to major virtual power plant projects, the partnership with Viridity Energy involves a new and different application of Siemen's DEMS software.

In effect, Edmonds said, it creates a new technology for a new arena -- customer participation in energy markets and trading.

Drexel University, with its strong base in engineering and technology, will be the first U.S. facility to put the solution to work on its campus. The VPower system is to be installed in three buildings in January and a larger deployment is expected to follow.

Image courtesy of Viridity Energy.