HELSINKI, Finland – Safegrid, a leading developer of Smart Grid monitoring solutions, has raised a growth funding round of 5.7 million euros from an investor group led by Ajanta Innovations in cooperation with Teollisuussjoitus, Grid.VC, and angel investors, to accelerate its international expansion, especially in the US and EU markets.
The rapidly growing distributed production of renewable energy poses new challenges to the electric distribution grid, which is essential for the functioning of our society. Already used by dozens of utilities in Finland and nearby countries, IGS gives utilities and grid operators full 24/7 visibility into their grids and lets them locate faults faster and more accurately than before and predict faults for timely preventive maintenance that improves grid performance and increases equipment service life.
With the new funding, Safegrid can better serve the high demand from, e.g., the United States, where the federal government supports with hundreds of billions of dollars the investments needed to enable the green transformation. “We received our first order from the United States just a month after we introduced our product there for the first time. This shows the huge interest of US utilities in Safegrid’s service. Thanks to the funding received, we can meet the demand in America without jeopardizing our growth in Europe. We already have twenty customers in Europe, all of whom have ordered more devices within a year of the first order,” says Safegrid CEO Jussi Hakunti.
Safegrid’s sensors gather more granular information about the state of the grid than traditional solutions, and they are less expensive and easier to deploy. The data is analyzed with Safegrid’s Grid Guardian™ cloud service, which helps detect and locate faults even before they cause service disruptions. Partial ground faults caused by, e.g., tree branches touching overhead lines (which cause devastating forest fires in California) or corroded insulators in underground lines can be located accurately, and crews can be sent fast to the correct location. This enables utilities to eliminate service outages or, at the very least, significantly reduce their duration.
The Smart Grid plays a vital role in electrification, the rise of renewable energy production, and more effective energy usage to fight climate change.
Both the US and EU have launched ambitious investment programs to accelerate the development of the smart grid:
- The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has just announced $13 billion in new financing opportunities for the expansion and modernization of the nation’s electric grid. These and other federal investments will unlock hundreds of billions of dollars of state and private sector capital to build transformative projects that increase the reliability of the power grid and modernize it so that more American communities and businesses have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity – helping deliver on the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
- The EU is calling for investments of more than half a trillion euros to modernize Europe’s energy grid this decade for the EU to succeed in ramping up wind and solar power to break free from Russian gas. The Commission has published a plan to “digitalize” Europe’s energy system. The plan says electricity grid investments of 584 billion euros are needed until 2030 to support the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, renewable energy, and heat pumps and shift away from fossil fuels. Of this, around 400 billion euros would target the distribution grid. Some 170 billion would focus on digitalization, including the so-called “smart grids” that respond faster to local supply and demand fluctuations, helping waste less energy and benefit from cheaper periods.
The Chairman of Safegrid, Mr. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, says: “This urgent investment drive and subsequent need for innovative technologies for monitoring, controlling, and maintaining the grid creates a tremendous opportunity for Safegrid. The investment by Ajanta Innovation and others enables us to scale our operations, expand internationally, and start taking advantage of these opportunities.”
Safegrid is the creator of the Intelligent Grid System™ that helps utilities and grip operators locate, predict, and prevent grid faults and improve grid performance with instant-on wireless sensors and cloud-based monitoring and analytics. Safegrid is backed by Ajanta Innovations, Grid.VC, Teollisuussijoitus, leading angel investors, and Business Finland. Safegrid is based in Helsinki, Finland.