South Korean energy giant Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has acquired 1Energy Systems of Seattle, which develops software for utilities to manage the electrical grid and integrate renewable resources like wind and solar power.
The company will be renamed Doosan GridTech and will continue to operate in Seattle as a new subsidiary of Doosan. Daejin Choi, a DHIC vice president, will relocate to Seattle to become CEO of Doosan GridTech.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rogers Weed, vice president of product management, said the transaction will allow GridTech to double or triple its current staff of 25 in the next few years and expand internationally.
Weed said energy distribution is challenging because “the entire system has to be in perfect balance every second of every day and demand has to meet supply exactly.”
The introduction of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar power that don’t produce the same amount of energy at all times has made the balancing act even more perilous. That is what GridTech’s software focuses on. The software makes it easier to manage energy storage and integrate renewable energy sources. If a plant of solar panels is suddenly obscured, GridTech’s software can smooth out the loss of production and deploy stored energy to make sure the grid keeps running smoothly.
“While battery storage technologies are improving all the time, they are only as good as the software that operates them,” David Kaplan, founder of 1Energy and COO of Doosan GridTech, said in a statement. “Doosan GridTech provides the advanced software – the intelligence that controls complex operations – to truly break open the opportunities of battery storage, enabling utilities to meet the challenge of managing distributed resources and capture new value streams across the grid.”
GridTech designed its software with open standards so it can be easily integrated by many customers. The company released a video to explain its software.
Some of 1Energy’s utility customers are Puget Sound Energy, Snohomish County Public Utilities District, Austin Energy and Duke Energy.
Doosan was founded in 1896 as a retail and trading company. It evolved to include brewing and consumer goods after World War II, and then in the 1980s it began building power plants. Doosan was interested in1Energy because it wanted to get more into energy distribution, add more software-intensive businesses to its portfolio and increase its U.S. presence.