ImpactAlpha, October 30 – California’s main electricity supplier is grappling with tens of billions of dollars in wildfire damages and forced power shut-offs to more than half a million customers. It’s a cautionary tale about legacy businesses risk exposure amid a changing climate—and it’s one that National Grid, another utility in the U.S., wants to avoid.
National Grid is looking at opportunities to shore up its own operations and infrastructure with three new investments. The investments, made by its venture capital arm National Grid Partners, include:
- CNIguard, which makes sensors that can be embedded in electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure to monitor system performance in real time
- SparkCognition, which uses machine learning to review utility systems for defects and predict failures
- Uniphore, whose software improves voice recognition for automated customer service
National Grid launched its venture arm a year ago with a goal of investing $250 million in the smart and clean energy transition by 2021. The latest investments bring its deployment to $102 million and portfolio count to 18.