EnerNoc to shave peak energy on farms

The energy software company acquires M2M Communications to expand its grid efficiency services through demand response in the agriculture industry.

Energy software company EnerNoc said yesterday it has agreed to buy M2M Communications, which specializes in energy management for the agriculture industry.

It's one of string of acquisitions EnerNoc has done over the past two years to grow from its core commercial demand-response business into new areas.

EnerNoc's demand-response services are run from a network operations center in Boston.
EnerNoc's demand-response services are run from a network operations center in Boston. Martin LaMonica/CNET

With demand response, utilities contract with third-party companies to meet demand for electricity on the grid during peak times. EnerNoc pays a monthly fee to companies that participate in demand response and EnerNoc has the ability to turn down electricity usage when needed, such as adjusting lighting or air conditioning.

M2M makes a wireless system that works with agricultural equipment, such as irrigation pumps. Sensors track energy usage, letting farm monitor energy use and participate in utility-run demand response programs from a Web-based application.

With more than 100 utility contracts, EnerNoc now manages over 3,000 megawatts of demand response capacity that can be drawn on when utilities need it. The agricultural sectors represents 10,000 megawatts of demand response potential in the U.S., said EnerNoc CEO Tim Healy, in a statement.

With growing electricity demand, utilities are increasingly tapping demand response providers ability to adjust power demand quickly as a replacement for building new power plants.

 

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