Energize is thrilled to lead the $20 million Series B investment in Amperon, the data analytics platform for forecasting the energy transition. We are joined by Orsted, the D.E. Shaw group, Veriten and existing investors HSBC Asset Management and a strategic utility partner. Energize partner Tyler Lancaster joins Amperon’s board of directors, and principal Eileen Waris joins as a board observer. We’re excited to put this capital infusion towards bolstering Amperon’s comprehensive data analytics solution and accelerating grid decarbonization.
Today’s electricity grid – and the demands we place on it – look starkly different from the grid of the past. From the intensification of severe weather events to the mass deployment of renewable technologies, the way we generate, distribute, consume and optimize energy is fundamentally shifting. These changes make it increasingly difficult for energy market participants to predict and manage their electricity use, making decisions more costly while increasing the risk of outages. Without forecasting solutions adapted to these modern challenges, we cannot effectively achieve the energy transition.
The Energize team has identified three major changes driving the volatility of today’s energy markets and the need for more accurate energy forecasting:
1) The Climate. Extreme weather is causing large-scale electricity disturbances, sometimes leading to prolonged and widespread power outages. Over 90% of electricity grid disturbances have been a result of natural causes such as winter storms and hurricanes. Record-breaking heat is straining the grid as electricity demand to support air-conditioning skyrockets. More extreme events and environmental conditions impair the ability of power plants to stay online. As these events become more frequent, finding accurate supply and demand forecasting solutions becomes even more important.
2) The Grid. The makeup of the grid is shifting from centralized power plants to distributed clean energy assets like solar arrays and wind turbines. Renewables accounted for more than 21% of total utility-scale electricity generation in 2022 according to EIA, and that share is expected to continue increasing. The distributed nature of these assets and their dependency on climate conditions brings unique challenges – such as intermittent electricity production and more variable consumption profiles – not captured by traditional energy models.
3) The Consumer. Consumer demand for electricity is increasing, with the total energy consumption in the U.S. predicted to increase by up to 15% by 2050. Our world is becoming increasingly electrified as more consumers switch from fossil fuel-powered technologies to electric ones like EVs and heat pumps. Fulfilling this heightened demand requires more accurate supply forecasts, yet the more personalized nature of consumers’ modern relationships with energy consumption makes predicting demand particularly challenging.
Enter Amperon, an AI-powered electricity forecasting platform built for the nuances of the energy transition. Amperon’s data analytics help their customers navigate and reduce the risks of today’s volatile energy markets by giving them more visibility for anticipating market shifts and optimizing their energy use. Through Amperon’s platform, customers can access grid-level, portfolio-level and meter-level forecasts – lending the precision and sophistication needed to bring energy forecasting into the digital age.
The nature of Amperon’s platform allows it to reach customers across the energy value chain. This includes customers spanning from generators to corporate users, and the utilities and retailers in between. Current customers include Orsted, AEMO, Rhythm Energy and OhmConnect. Any company that generates, distributes or demands electricity can be an Amperon customer. As a result, Amperon’s use cases are broad. For example:
- Energy traders use Amperon’s accurate load forecasts to improve their trading outcomes and intraday transactions.
- Independent power producers (IPPs) use Amperon’s software to better manage market risk for their renewable assets.
- Utilities use Amperon’s platform to modernize their operations, mitigating strain on the grid and better planning for infrastructure needs.
- Virtual power plants (VPPs) and other energy software - such as for batteries and on-site solar - use Amperon’s forecasts to help customers save on bills and predict periods of peak energy demand.
The Energize team has built our thesis around studying the digital solutions needed to enable the energy transition. Amperon’s software solution sits at the center of our “Electrifying Everything” theme, since it facilitates the push to decarbonize our economy and create a resilient and reliable grid. In order to transform the way we generate, distribute, consume and optimize energy, we need to be able to forecast our energy needs.
Our team has monitored the energy forecasting market for years, and we believe Amperon is differentiated from competitors due to the strong technical moat around their solutions’ forecasts, the team’s expert market knowledge across energy assets and their agility in adapting to customers’ needs. Unlike other solutions, Amperon’s platform is specifically designed for the intricacies of the clean energy space and is able to capture a wider breadth of forecasts to support all customers. Throughout our diligence process, we repeatedly heard that the accuracy of Amperon’s forecasts is unmatched – routinely out-performing forecasts provided directly from independent system operators (ISOs) like ERCOT.
The idea for Amperon was borne from data – a story of a veteran energy trader and a data scientist seeking to forecast the future of energy. Sean Kelly, Amperon’s co-founder and CEO, previously worked as a global power markets trader at companies including Tenaska, Lehman, EDF and E.On. Co-Founder and CTO Abe Stanway is a longtime data scientist and entrepreneur with several company exits under his belt. He has held data science roles at Etsy, Planet Labs, and McKinsey, and sold his first company, Hacker League, to Intel. Their pairing marries market knowledge with deep technical expertise around machine learning and AI.
Team Energize first met Abe and Sean in 2017 when they launched Amperon and sought out our team’s previous experience scaling digital platforms serving the retail electricity end-market. Over the years, Sean and Abe have continually impressed us with their robust vision for how Amperon’s product could act as the operating system to accurately forecast and manage energy, with ever-expanding customer traction to prove it.
The Houston-based company has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years as they have grown their recurring revenue 5x in less than two years. This latest infusion of capital will help Amperon scale their go-to-market motion; expand to new geographies; hire more talent for their engineering, data, customer support, and sales teams; and build out their product to include pricing and carbon forecasts. We’re looking forward to working with Sean, Abe and the full Amperon team to help forecast the energy transition!