Con­duct­ing Things

The world's en­ergy grids are crack­ling with elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from a grow­ing ar­ray of sources. En­bala Power Net­works wants to make them more ef­fi­cient

BC Business Magazine - - Celebrating 45 Years -

Job ti­tles at En­bala Power Net­works Inc. are de­cid­edly play­ful: sim­plic­ity seeker, plan­e­tary ac­tivist and Mr. Roboto, the lat­ter as­cribed to pres­i­dent and CEO Bud Vos. Th­ese are han­dles you might ex­pect to see on Lu­l­ule­mon Ath­let­ica Inc.'s ca­reer page, not on the web­site of a com­pany aim­ing to keep the world's elec­tric grids in a con­stant state of reli­able bal­ance by har­ness­ing dis­trib­uted en­ergy re­sources like so­lar, wind and con­ven­tional hy­dro­elec­tric­ity. Elec­tri­cal engi­neer and chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Mal­colm Met­calfe launched En­bala in Van­cou­ver back in 2003 to help own­ers of com­mer­cial build­ings cut heat­ing costs and shrink emis­sions. The busi­ness has since ap­plied its smart-grid soft­ware to util­i­ties as they shift to a wider range of re­new­able en­ergy sources. It's bank­ing on a grow­ing need for DERMS (dis­trib­uted en­ergy re­source man­age­ment sys­tems) world­wide to keep ev­ery­thing run­ning smoothly. The com­pany likens this task to con­duct­ing an orches­tra—hence the name of its mar­quee soft­ware plat­form, Sym­phony by En­bala, which uses real-time data and com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­fra­struc­ture to con­trol an evolv­ing mod­ern elec­tric­ity grid. The DERMS mar­ket re­mains mod­est in North Amer­ica, but glob­ally it could hit US$70 bil­lion by 2022, Florida-based Zion Mar­ket Re­search projects.

En­bala, named to the 2017 Global Clean­tech 100, now em­ploys 40 and has three of­fices in Toronto and the U.S. in ad­di­tion to its cor­po­rate head­quar­ters in North Van­cou­ver. In Fe­bru­ary, the firm an­nounced US$12 mil­lion in fi­nanc­ing from a round led by ABB Tech­nol­ogy Ven­tures, a divi­sion of Euro­pean tech con­glom­er­ate ABB, and in­clud­ing in­vestors such as Gen­eral Elec­tric sub­sidiary GE Ven­tures. “The new fund­ing fu­els the com­pany for growth and con­tin­ued R& D and gives us a re­ally long run­way,” Vos says.



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