Wednesday, December 1, 2010

India's first Smart Grid startup Ecolibrium Energy

If something positive is to take out of the global recession, it is the emergence of Smart Grid. Countries and Companies across the world are adopting Smart Grid to transform the aging grid into the agile dynamic network at rapid pace in last two years. India, the second most populated and the second fastest growing economy in the world is also not far behind in Smart Grid development. It has already established India Smart Grid Forum and Smart Grid Task Force to develop framework and national policy in this regard. Though development like BESCOM's (Bangalore Utility)  $100 million Smart Grid pilot project along the line of Boulder Colorado, IITs collaboration with IBM for Smart Grid research, MDI's Smart Grid educational program, and  NDPL's collaboration with GE for Smart Grid are notable, nothing much was happening in Smart Grid Startups space, until Ecolibirum Energy entered into Smart Grid.

Incubated by Center for Innovation, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA) and supported by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), under Renewable Energy Search program, The company is rolling out its first pilot project in  Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. The pilot project will showcase how consumers will able to access and manage  power consumption in real-time. It also includes 130KV of rooftop solar installation, one of the largest such installation in India, as part of the pilot. Established and managed by brother duo Chintan and Harit Soni (who left their corporate jobs), Ecolibrium Energy is first such startup in India providing services and products in Smart Grid domain. According to MD &CEO Chintan Soni,  "Electricity grid system at present is not smart enough as there is no feedback between the end consumer and the suppliers. The suppliers do not have the precise estimation of how much energy is to be supplied to an area according to the time of the year or season or day.We have indigenously developed a technology to get this feedback between the consumers and the suppliers. It is a low cost technology in terms of operation." 

In the west, Demand Response (also known as curtailment services )  provider like EnerNOC and Comverge are well established player and have been successfully providing such services for many years, It is quite uncommon in India as no such precedence exists, and thus will represent very different set of challenges in developing this market space. Nevertheless, the pioneering effort taken by Ecolibirum Energy is quite commendable in the early phase of Smart Grid development. 

Working with Electricity utility companies and private housing complexes, the company focuses on providing following Smart Grid products and services.

• Demand side management and Demand response management.
• Automated Meter Reading.
• Providing a platform for consumers to participate energy grid awareness.
• And efficient grid integration of renewable sources.


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