Next Steps for Enphase: New CEO Aims to Bring Discipline, Global Growth

Grid+, one of a growing number of energy-related blockchain ventures, has raised $40 million in pre-sales before even going public, CryptoCoinsNews reported.

The startup, owned by New York blockchain development house ConsenSys, had to shut down the presale of its GRID tokens due to “overwhelming interest,” Grid+ said in a tweet. “Any new interest will officially be moved to a waitlist.”

Each GRID token gives the owner the right to purchase 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity at wholesale prices. The actual purchase of electricity will be via cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, BOLT and possibly Bitcoin in the future.

Grid+ had earmarked 45

Enphase kicked off the microinverter trend, but its long-time struggle with profitability led to the ouster of CEO Paul Nahi in August.

The search for his replacement wrapped up quickly, with the internal pick of Chief Operating Officer Badri Kothandaraman. He joined the team in April from a leadership role at Cyprus Semiconductor, a few months after Cyprus founder, ardent free-marketeer and climate change skeptic TJ Rodgers made a lifeline investment in the cash-strapped Enphase and got himself a seat on the board.

In a statement at the time, Nahi called Kothandaraman "an exciting addition to the

Here’s a story about two smart meter networking companies who are becoming contenders in the internet of things. 

Itron announced Monday that it plans to acquire long-time rival (and occasional partner) Silver Spring Networks, in a deal valued at $830 million. The acquisition represents a 25-percent premium over Silver Spring’s closing share price the Friday before. 

If approved, the deal would create a company with more than 90 million networked endpoints -- combining Itron’s older and newer generations of electric, gas and water meters with Silver Spring’s network interface card (NIC)-equipped electric meters and smart streetlights.

On that measure alone, the combined company

Solar panels, solar manufacturing and solar trade case.

Duke Energy is investing $30 million into the two biggest battery storage projects in North Carolina -- a first for the regulated arm of the Charlotte-based utility. 

“We feel the technology has improved, the price has come down, and we think there are some niche applications where battery use makes sense for the regulated utility,” said Duke spokesperson Randy Wheeless. “In a regulated environment, you have to justify these projects to a commission and usually least cost is an overriding factor there.”

The projects may indicate new interest in storage among regulated utilities, as battery prices continue to fall.

Both of Duke’s projects --

Solar panels, solar manufacturing and solar trade case.

Mercedes is investing more than $1 billion to upgrade a U.S. plant for assembling batteries and electric SUVs -- putting a big bet on the market for larger battery-powered vehicles. 

The German automaker, owned by Daimler, made the announcement Thursday at its Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant, which makes its SUV models GLE, GLS and GLE Coupé.

Along with a nearby battery factory, Mercedes will upgrade factory lines to build its EQ brand electric SUV, the EQ C, starting sometime around 2020. 

The move comes as Mercedes prepares to launch its broader EQ line of EVs, starting with the EQ A midsize hatchback, and now

Next Steps for Enphase: New CEO Aims to Bring Discipline, Global Growth

We start of this week's jobs digest in software.

Energy management firm Ecova brought on Mathias Lelievre as its new president and CEO. The 20-year-old company is now a subsidiary of multinational utility Engie. Lelievre was most recently head of Engie’s "green mobility" program.

Ecova is competing in the crowded C&I energy management sector, and Lelievre will expand the company's energy and sustainability software solutions in the market. Ecova acquired efficiency analytics startup Retroficiency in 2015.

Distributed energy resource management software provider AutoGrid appointed Christopher Sternberg as its COO. He will oversee AutoGrid’s business strategy. Previously, Sternberg was managing director at

Solar panels, solar manufacturing and solar trade case.

Drax, the U.K.’s largest power plant, this month applied to build a 200-megawatt battery system as part of a wider move away from coal.

Plans for the battery -- which would be the largest in the U.K. and more than double the country’s current level of electrical storage -- followed a June proposal to convert two of Drax’s six coal generation units into 3.6 gigawatts of gas-fired capacity.

Three units in the plant, located in Yorkshire, northeast England, are already burning biomass, mostly imported from the U.S. and Canada.

The plans “are subject to a positive investment decision and would need to be underpinned

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