To the cloud
AutoGrid is building a platform that takes advantage of the data
and "converts it into actionable intelligence."
DROMS is a cloud-based service for implementing and managing a wide
range of power management programs such as direct load control,
critical peak pricing, peak-time rebates and demand bidding.
A utility or industrial customer logs into the AutoGrid platform
creates its programs and manages and monitors them from the
interface, which leverages open protocols such as OpenADR, which
connects various devices and nodes within the smart grid.
AutoGrid's business model includes a set-up fee and then a
percentage of the cost savings.
The idea is to give customers broader visibility into energy load
data and to move away from an implementation, management and
monitoring system that is today siloed. PG&E, for example,
manages some 17 demand response programs, each with its own level of
data granularity and its own program manager, according to Tang.
Any early DROMS customer has been the City of Palo Alto, which runs
its own utility. Using the system, Palo Alto shed an average of 1.2
megawatts of peak demand, saving 3.5 megawatt hours of electricity,
per event, according to Auto Grid.
For Knudsen and Tang, the shift into a software-as-a-service
business from the silicon side of things is not much of a leap given
their experience working on PG&E's smart meter program. For
Narayan (pictured nearby
), the EDA industry vet, the transition came because he was
director Stanford's Smart Grid Simulation Research program.
--Gov't mandates driving smart grid deployments