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Oakville's Smart Energy Instruments attracts funding, prepares to launch smart grid measurement tech

Experts seem to agree that a "smart grid" is on the way -- a key to the sustainable energy picture in the future. But as it stands, an important mechanism for managing the smart grid, a reliable way to manage and monitor power flow, has been missing from the picture. At least one estimate puts the annual cost of "power quality events" resulting from this hole in the system cost $180 million per year in North America.

Enter Smart Energy Instruments (SEI) of Oakville, Ontario, formerly known as ANI Technologies Corp. Incorporated in 2004, SEI has developed a technology that measures power flows, allowing utilities and grid operators identify problems in the grid and better regulate the energy supply. According to CEO Jeff Dionne, who has been developing the technology for the past 15 years, the company's device facilitates the type of management that is "the very definition of the smart grid."

SEI began life with a $600,000 investment from its founders and has raised additional funds from two rounds of angel funding -- one $150,000 round in 2010, and an $850,000 round announced in early February. The three-person shop will use the funding to file patents on its proprietary technology and to run pilot products with its existing prototype, as well as hire some additional significant employees, Dionne says.

The company's business plan calls for deployment of the technology through licensing arrangements with large multinational partners in North America and Asia.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Jeff Dionne, CEO, Smart Energy Instruments
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