Green-ITInnovation

Intel Puts £6 Million In Clean Tech

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

Smart grid and power management companies get backing from Intel’s investment arm.

Intel’s investment arm is putting $10 million in five companies that make clean technology including smart grid devices and power controllers. One of them is in Ireland.

At the Intel Technology Innovation Summit on 29th July, Intel announced that it was investing in four US companies and a fifth one out of Ireland. The investments are coming through Intel Capital, the chip maker’s investment arm.

“The global nature of these five investments demonstrates our focus on accelerating cleantech innovation, emphasising Intel Capital’s unique strength as a global, stage-agnostic investor,” Arvind Sodhani, executive vice president at Intel and president of Intel Capital, said in a statement.

The money includes a third investment by Intel in a San Francisco company called Grid Net, which has created PolicyNet, a management platform for the smart grid. PolicyNet touches on all networked transmission, distribution and generation smart grid devices, and uses 4G broadband networks for cost-efficient rapid deployment and management of smart grid technologies.

The smart grid is an initiative designed to lower power costs by bringing greater intelligence to the energy distribution networks. the concept is already backed by many vendors including IBM and Cisco The security implications are being thought through. The US Department of Energy is investing £2 billion in the technology, and the British government also plans to give all citizens smart meters

Intel also is investing for a second time in two companies. Powervation is a Limerick, Ireland, vendor that sells digital power controllers for server, desktop computing and communications platforms. The controllers include automatic configuration and self stabilisation, and result in improved power efficiency at the device level.

The other company getting a second investment from Intel is Convey Computer, based in Richardson, Texas. Convey offers HC-1, aimed at improving energy efficiency and performance in HPC (high-performance computing) environments. HC-1 integrates such off-the-shelf components at Intel Xeon chips with compiler technology that reduces programming hurdles that hampered the development of reconfigurable hardware.

iControl is another company getting additional funding from Intel. iControl brings home and energy management capabilities — among other services — to security and broadband providers.

Getting money from Intel for the first time is CPower, a New York company that offers energy management services that enables businesses to improve the efficiency of their facilities through energy-reduction programs. Those businesses also can earn market payments for those energy reductions.