Gridwatch, the Irish energy start-up that specialises in smart energy grid monitoring, has been selected as one of only 15 international companies to participate in Free Electrons, the world’s first accelerator programme that connects energy start-ups with global utilities. The Free Electrons programme, which is backed by ESB and nine other utilities from around the world, received more than 515 applications from companies in 65 countries. Gridwatch will work with international energy utilities, including ESB, to refine and test their product with the potential to reach 73 million customers located in 40 countries.

Provides analytics and data monitoring for energy utilities

Gridwatch is a software company based in Limerick that provides analytics and data monitoring for energy utilities. ESB and its international counterparts will work with Gridwatch and the other finalists across modules in Sydney, Silicon Valley, and Berlin to develop their products and grow their business for the international markets, in order to accelerate their company’s growth. Paul Mulvaney, head of innovation at ESB said: “We are delighted to be supporting clean-tech start-ups from around the world to share expertise and ultimately deliver new energy products and services to our customers in the Irish and UK market. The fact ESB is working with three participants of last year’s Free Electrons programme to roll out new products is testament to the success of this hands-on initiative.” The aim of Free Electrons 2018, is to recruit energy start-ups that will drive the next generation of ideas in clean energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, digitisation, and on-demand customer services. At the end of the programme the winning start-up will receive $200,000 in prize money. The success of Free Electrons can be measured by the number of contracts signed between utilities and participating start-ups in the 2017 programme, worth about $12 million. ESB is currently trialling products with participants including solar designers HST Solar, smart grid experts Depsys, and the winners of the 2017 programme BEON, which specialises in residential solar products. [embed][/embed]