Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – , a developer of smart grid technology, is gearing up for major expansion, further product development and marketing efforts after raising $17.7 million in new financing.

The Raleigh-based firm that launched trials of its products last fall drew money from high-profit investors GE Energy Financial Services, Qualcomm, Verizon Ventures and Constellation Energy as well as unnamed private investors.

Consert clients include municipal and electric cooperatives in North Carolina and Texas.

The company has also worked with IBM on pilot smart grid programs in North Carolina. ()

A list of job openings at the firm’s web site reflects the firm’s growth plans:

  • Linux System Adminstrator
  • Senior Software Architect
  • Senior Embedded Developer
  • Embedded_Applications_Developer
  • Tivoli Design and Development
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Utility Program Manager
  • Test Automation Engineer
  • Tier2 Support Engineer

"Consert has united the interests of utilities with those of consumers and small businesses," said Consert Chief Executive Officer Jack Roberts in announcing the funding. "This group of investors advances our vision of creating an integrated green energy solution with smart infrastructure, real-time communications, and intelligent in-home devices."

The firm’s technology enables customers to manage energy consumption.

The company also offers what it calls a “Virtual Peak Plant” that lets power generators and distributing utilities improve management of power to meet or supplant power. According to Consert, Virtual Power Plant can help utilities meet power demands at far less capital cost than building new facilities.

Consert also works with utility providers to improve reliability and to incorporate renewable power sources.

"Consert’s technology connects homes and small businesses through existing communications networks, enabling utilities to balance electricity demand, increase energy efficiency and drive consumer savings," said Kevin Skillern, managing director of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services, in a statement. "It complements GE’s suite of economagination and smart grid investments and products, and provides opportunities for future collaboration."

Verizon also works with Consert to enable machine-to-machine communications over its Verizon Wireless network.

Consert uses wireless technology for demand management, advanced metering and maintenance of home area networks.

"By utilizing the 3G wireless network to manage its software messaging and real-time data collection, Consert has developed a very compelling solution for smart grid applications," said Quinn Li, director of Qualcomm Ventures. "Consert’s innovative technology positions them well to succeed in this growing market."
Consert’s services are provide through a software-as-a-service model.

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