In a second major investment geared to expand its footprint in the smart grid sector, Tokyo-based electronics giant Toshiba (News - Alert) Corporation has acquired Consert Inc., a closely held company with headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, that helps utilities and their customers to manage power loads cost-effectively.
Toshiba paid more than $11 million for the acquisition, according to Bloomberg (News - Alert). Prior to the acquisition, five-year-old Consert is said to have raised as much as $25 million from a variety of high-profile backers, including GE Energy Financial Services, Verizon (News - Alert) Ventures, Qualcomm and Constellation Energy.
Consert operations will be integrated with those of Landis+Gyr Americas, the Zug, a Switzerland-based smart meter company purchased in 2011 by Toshiba for US$2.3 billion.
Consert, through its Virtual Peak Plant (VPP), delivers a fully-integrated, intelligent load management solution for utilities and their ratepayers. Consert connects appliances and thermostats in the home to a smart meter, monitors energy consumption and provides householders with automated energy efficiency programs. On the utility end, VPP provides improved forecasting and capacity management, real-time outage management information, remote service connections and enhanced customer service.
“Consert is an ideal fit with Toshiba, a global leader in power generation, and the acquisition will add a new level of technology to our smart community business” said Toshiba Corporation Executive Officer and Corporate Vice President, Takeshi Yokota, adding, “[Our] Smart Community [business] is a fundamental solution that includes energy management on both the demand and supply sides….Consert adds significantly to our Smart Community portfolio…. We are now better-positioned to support major utilities in generating and delivering stable power supply—and to ensure end-user environments that optimize energy use and maximize energy savings.”
“We are pleased to be integrating the business and employees of Consert into the Landis+Gyr Americas team, while their know-how and technology will be used throughout Toshiba—and in particular within the Smart Community division,” commented Richard Mora, Landis+Gyr’s president and CEO for the Americas Region. “We see the addition of the VPP as an important extension of our current offering and our first true demand response platform. Customer interest in this solution—[which enables] their consumers to manage energy better— is extremely high.”
Roy Moore, Consert’s co-founder and chief development officer, added “This step by Toshiba and Landis+Gyr is a huge milestone for our employees, partners and owners. It validates what our customers already know about the VPP: It is a solution designed to create and leverage a smarter grid.”
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo