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Mar 11

Centrica’s Play for North American Distributed Energy Dominance

 Greentech Media - Jeff St. John - March 08, 2018
 Direct Energy’s customer base, plus acquired and home-built demand management software platforms and backup power providers, make for a competitive DER suite.
 Last month, U.K.-based Centrica announced it was joining the ranks of European utilities like Enel, Engie and EDF in seeking a piece of the North American distributed energy market -- with a little help from the fact that it also owns one of the continent’s biggest retail energy providers. 
 The new company, Centrica Business Solutions, is actually a combination of acquired and home-built business units with significant existing market share in the U.S. and Canada. Backed by the promise of $910 million in investment through 2020 by its parent company, it’s selling combined heat and power (CHP),solar battery energy storage and standby generators, along with the software and services to put them to use. 
 This package will be marketed and managed by Direct Energy Business, the commercial services arm of Direct Energy, which is owned by Centrica as well. Direct Energy serves than 4 million customers in the 14 U.S. states and western Canadian provinces that allow for retail competition in energy markets, making it a significant channel partner for the new business. 
 In fact, Direct Energy is already operating some “significant” amounts of demand response with its customers in the Northeast U.S., Stephen Prince, senior vice president overseeing North America commercial operations for Centrica Business Solutions, said in a Wednesday interview. This portfolio, and the software behind it, will now be part of the new company, he said. 
 The company’s presence is heavily weighted toward the Northeast today, as well as Texas. “We’re expanding rapidly [and] organically” in those markets, he said. Centrica is also active in other states, through the customers of several companies acquired over the past few years, he added. 
 The first is Panoramic Power, which makes tiny wireless sensors that clip onto the circuits in a building’s circuit panel, along with the software to collect and analyze the data to provide energy efficiency and management insights. It was bought by Direct Energy for $60 million in late 2015, and has “a significant customer base in North America,” he said. 
 The second is ENER-G Combined Heat and Power and Rudox Power Generation, which provide CHP systems and backup generators, and were bought by Centrica for $212 million in May 2016. Rebranded as ENER-G Rudox last year, the business sells, rents and supports both CHP and standby generation, mainly natural-gas-powered units, in sizes from 30 kilowatts to 2 megawatts, he said. “We have units on top of the U.N. building -- we’re a very well-known brand in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts” and other Northeast competitive energy markets, said Prince. 
 REstore, which Centrica bought for $81 million in November, wasn’t mentioned in Centrica Business Solutions' press release last month. But Prince noted that the Belgian company’s technology, which controls building energy loads at split-second intervals to meet grid operator and energy market needs, will also be part of Centrica Business Solutions’ rollout in North America. 
 “Their virtual power plant capabilities, their aggregation capabilities, their remote control capabilities behind the meter -- all of that software -- has become part of the backbone of our solutions offering in North America,

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Oct 16

Restore baut Deutschlandgeschäft aus

Energate messenger, Karsten Wiedemann, 17.10.2018
 Marcus Engler ist neuer Vertriebschef bei Restore Deutschland.
 Berlin (energate) - Der Flexibilitätsdienstleister Restore verstärkt sein Team für den deutschen Markt. Marcus Engler wird künftig für den Vertrieb zuständig sein. Er kommt vom dänischen Energieunternehmen Örsted. Restore will sein Angebot für den deutschen Markt erweitern. Das Unternehmen gehört seit kurzem zur britischen Centrica-Gruppe (...)

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Jul 29

Baron Rudi Thomaes, former Chairman of REstore, passes away

Antwerp, July 30th, 2018 - REstore is deeply saddened to communicate that Baron Rudi Thomaes, its former Chairman, passed away last Wednesday. 
 After a distinguished career as CEO of Alcatel Bell and CEO the Federation of Belgian Enterprises, Mr. Thomaes served as Chairman of REstore from 2012 until its acquisition by Centrica at the end of 2017. His unceasing commitment to REstore stemmed from a broader passion to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Belgium.
 As Chairman of REstore, Mr. Thomaes was a relentless ambassador for the company and critical to the delivery of its success. He used his decades of executive experience in telecom and technology to guide strategy, mentor REstore's founders and help grow the company into an internationally acclaimed energy technology pioneer. 
 Management and board members will remember Mr. Thomaes for his outstanding business insight and ability to simplify complex challenges, but also for his passionate and warm demeanor. Shareholders and employees will remember Rudi's strong leadership and encouraging addresses.
 Please join us in extending our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family. 

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Jun 21

[Grid Edge Innovation Summit - SFO, CA] Watch REstore, Greensync and Enbala discuss the VPP of the Future.

Past week's Grid Edge Innovation Summit organised by Greentech Media brought together Greensync's founder Phil Blythe, REstore's co-founder Jan-Willem Rombouts and Enbala's CEO Arthur Vos over a highly engaging panel session, to discuss how utilities are controlling DERs with microgrids and DERMS. 
 Some key-topics covered in this discussion:
 - The differences and similarities between VPPs and DERMS 
 - The evolving role of advanced, real-time Demand Response globally
 - The importance of behind the meter and synthetic pooling of all types of flexible assets
 - How to provide value for the customer (Value Stacking) as a driver to get more flex in the market
 - Overwinning challenges at both levels: local - as in the level of the distribution grid -  and at the level of the ISO
 Elta Kolo, Ph.D. Research Manager at Greentech Media, specialized in smart grids, moderated the session. Grid Edge Innovation Summit is the leading future energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging. This year's edition took place on June 20-12 in San Francisco, CA.

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