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Trilliant: Smart grid meets mesh networks

Smart-grid company Trilliant lands a $40 million equity investment to expand while Silver Spring Networks and Greenbox Technology land smart-grid utility deal.

Trilliant said on Wednesday that it has raised $40 million in equity in one of the largest single-round smart-grid investments to date.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company makes equipment and software for energy-efficiency programs aimed at smoothing out the load on the power grid by dialing down energy use at homes and businesses.

Trilliant uses a mesh network architecture where meters and gateways use different wireless protocols to transmit information from homes and business back to utilities back-office systems.

With so-called advanced meters, utilities can lessen the demand on the grid during peak times by remotely raising the temperature on air conditioners or tweaking equipment at industrial facilities.

The investment will be used to fund the company's expansion, the company said. Investors are MissionPoint Capital Partners and Zouk Ventures.

There are several smart-grid projects going on right now around the world. Utilities are seeking out energy efficiency technologies to make electricity distribution more reliable and to potentially avoid construction of new power plants.

Utilities typically offer consumers an incentive to participate in smart-grid programs which can reduce energy bills by about 10 percent, according to the year-long GridWise trial.

Two other smart-grid start-ups on Wednesday announced that they landed a deal to supply equipment and software to Oklahoma Gas and Electric for a smart-grid project.

Silver Spring Networks will supply networking and metering hardware while Greenbox Technology a company founded by the makers of the Flash Web technology, will offer a Web-based applicaton that displays home energy use.