Varentec Key Assets Acquired by Sentient Energy
March, 1st, 2022
Varentec, a distribution grid technologies provider based in Santa Clara, California, was originally funded by Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and 3M. The company’s solutions augment standard grid modernization systems, enhance energy savings and peak demand reduction, and boost distributed energy resource (DER) hosting capacity.
Sentient Energy recently acquired Varentec’s grid edge voltage optimization hardware and management software with a focus on providing a comprehensive set of solutions to help utilities meet increasingly complex distribution grid reliability, resilience, and efficiency needs. Varentec’s grid edge hardware and software offerings complement Sentient Energy’s intelligent overhead and underground grid monitoring and predictive analytics platform, enabling improved power delivery safety, reliability, and efficiency.
Consolidating the solutions of the two companies provides utilities with a single, trusted source of technologies that help tackle the challenges of an aging distribution grid while addressing grid modernization needs.
The Sentient Energy Grid Edge Control Solution™
Comprised of Varentec’s dynamic voltage optimization technology and management software, Sentient Energy’s Grid Edge Control enables utilities to achieve increased optimization and energy efficiency capabilities.
Edge of Network Grid Optimization (ENGO®)
Varentec’s Edge of Network Grid Optimization device, ENGO, monitors line voltages, dynamically adjusting voltage levels when a line drops below a certain threshold. It communicates via both cellular and mesh networks, and is a lightweight (48 pounds), dynamic VAR controller.
Grid Edge Management System (GEMS®)
Varentec’s Grid Edge Management System, GEMS, is the software that manages the ENGO VAR controller, monitoring, configuring, and managing peak demand. GEMS allows for utilities to have real-time data and visibility into ENGO activity, and to control, change and upgrade firmware remotely.
Benefits of these former Varentec technologies, now known as Sentient Energy’s Grid Edge Control Solution™, include:
- Secondary deployment capabilities — customers do not have to be powered down for ENGO installation
- Peak demand reduction and additional energy savings on low voltage segments of the grid
- Mitigation of sudden increases and decreases of distributed generation or load
- Improved management and integration of solar, electric vehicle, and other distributed energy resources
Sentient Energy’s acquisition of these Varentec assets creates a large opportunity for advancement and innovation in the distribution grid management market, providing a broad set of solutions that help utilities modernize their grids and deliver safe, reliable, and efficient power. It illustrates the Sentient Energy team’s commitment and focus to provide differentiated offerings that support the electrification of everything.
In the words of Varentec CEO Guillaume Dufossé, Koch Engineered Solutions and Sentient Energy “have the needed set of experience and resources to take the Varentec grid edge hardware and software technologies to the next level.”