One of the top electricity suppliers in the country, NRG Energy, recently began a new partnership with the software developer Lucid that will see the company’s BuildingOS offering become a “core offering” in NRG’s support to commercial + industrial customers.
For those unfamiliar with it, the BuildingOS product allows for the integration of “disparate building management systems and on-site energy systems into a universal operating system.” The interest here being that Lucid’s BuildingOS software can be used as an “anchor” for various customized offerings in the sector, according NRG Renew’s senior VP of innovation Robyn Beavers. (NRG Renew is NRG Energy’s new group aimed at large-scale project development + C&I energy management).
“We’re entering a highly distributed world that leads to mass customization for energy solutions. Having the data from BuildingOS informs our strategy. This is kind of like an anchor to that.”
The company is reportedly aiming to have the software installed at at least 2,500 sites by the end of 2015. To date, Lucid’s offering has been integrated “into more than 10,000 buildings around the country, linking up systems from 160 different technology integrators onto a common monitoring platform.”
Lucid CEO Vladi Shunturov commented: “A number of customers are now interested in on-site generation. They’re also asking for access to their smart-meter data; they’re asking for data from their energy management systems and submeters. In California, they’re asking for water data. Having that unified view is important.”
Greentech Media provides some background:
Since NRG split itself into three distinct divisions last year — NRG Home, NRG Business and NRG Renew — the company has been focused on “personalized power” offerings for homeowners and commercial businesses. That includes installing on-site generation and integrating software to help manage energy use.
NRG has been on a buying spree in solar. In the last 18 months, it has acquired Roof Diagnostics Solar to build its installation business, bought Pure Energies for customer acquisition, and scooped up Goal Zero for mobile solar applications. In 2011, NRG bought Solar Power Partners to expand its commercial solar business. There are also rumors that the company is preparing to buy Next Step Living’s solar division.
In efficiency, NRG directly invested in EcoFactor to capture a piece of the home energy management market. The partnership with Lucid will give it a proven energy management solution for its commercial and industrial customers.
NRG Renew’s rep commented that the company met with over 150 startups + vendors in 2014 in order to evaluate what was currently available — the decision to go with Lucid being the result of the fact that its offering possessed more flexibility.
“It’s more about developing a strategy that can accommodate different partners and vendors over time. You don’t want to get locked down.”
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