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5 April, 2016 - 08:00 By Kate Sweeney

Origami raises £13.7m for energy tech power play

cleantech, origami, energy management, cambridge

Smart energy technology business Origami Energy has raised an additional £13.7 million to commercialise monitoring innovation that eases pressure on the National Grid.

A literal power broker, the Cambridge UK company enables the intelligent management of distributed energy assets.

The fresh money has been raised from existing shareholders, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Octopus Ventures and two private individuals, together with a new investment from Fred. Olsen-related companies.

Origami has developed technology to monitor, communicate with and control a large distributed network of energy generating, energy using and energy storing assets connected to the electricity grid.

Based at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge and also in London, Origami intelligently manages the capacity and modifies the flows of power at physical sites of power generation, energy demand and electricity storage by providing a marketplace where the supply and demand of electricity is matched more evenly in real-time.

As a result, the strain on the electricity grid is reduced and additional value can be unlocked for Origami Energy’s partners by optimising the utilisation of the energy assets.

From an environmental perspective, use of Origami’s technology platform is designed to help cut carbon emissions by enabling more renewable power to be connected to the grid and by reducing the need to switch on ‘dirty’ power stations.

The recent ‘Smart Power’ report published by the National Infrastructure Commission estimated that use of smart power measures, such as those provided by Origami Energy, could save UK consumers up to £8 billion per year by 2030.

Since raising £4 million of seed funding in the summer of 2014, Origami Energy has made significant progress. The company has built a team of more than 30 people from a range of disciplines across technology and energy sectors.

It has developed and successfully demonstrated the alpha and beta versions of its tech platform and in 2015 began an initial wave of pilot deployments with operational customer sites.

The new funding will allow Origami to move from pilot field trials to multi-site commercial deployments with a wide range of customers, focusing initially on industrial and commercial sites. The funding is also enabling Origami to build out an energy storage asset development capability.

Origami Energy’s CEO, Peter Bance, said: “The additional funding we’ve just raised will help fuel our next phase of growth as we transition from our current customer field trials to scalable deployment of our solution on a commercial basis.

“In addition to strong support from our existing shareholders, we are extremely pleased to welcome Fred. Olsen-related companies as a new investor. Their long history in the energy sector together with an increasingly large presence in distributed energy makes them a perfect partner for Origami Energy.”

Victor Christou, CEO of Cambridge Innovation Capital, added: “Origami Energy has achieved much in the 18 months since our original investment.

“At a time when demands on the energy grid are intensifying we believe Origami’s ‘shaping’ approach to energy management is the next step towards the creation of a viable solution in an energy-constrained world. We are pleased to support the company in the next phase of its journey.”

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