Drift then buys power from producers like hydroelectric plants or from large energy consumers, such as businesses that agree to reduce consumption during low-demand periods. The company sells that power at a rate that allows it compete with energy incumbents. Drift just launched its service in New York this year.
To refine the process by which utilities predict demand (and therefore price), a startup called Drift is turning to data science. The Seattle-based company uses machine learning to analyze a host of unconventional and granular data — such as internet search activity, the condition of energy infrastructure, and even business hours — to improve demand forecasts.