The basics of Energy Intelligence with Frédéric Crampé
In more and more countries, large energy consumers can buy their electricity on the spot market where price varies at any point in time.
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After a career as a rocket scientist at NASA, Frédéric Crampé became an entrepreneur and investor in the energy sector. From engineering to business development, from project finance to private equity and general management, Frédéric Crampé has done it all. He recently founded BeeBryte (BeeBryte SAS), a startup at the nexus of energy management, IT and cleantech.
Hello Frédéric Crampé and thank you for taking the time to talk to The Beam. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself. Where does your commitment for the environment comes from?
In the late 90’s at NASA I used satellite instruments to study the earth, especially natural disasters and climate change. It was frightening to see how fast the ice caps were melting for instance.
From then on, I decided to focus my career on serving the environment and developing cleaner energy solutions. Although I later shifted from engineering to business development and strategy then finance, I’ve remained committed to contributing to the energy transition.
As an entrepreneur, I spent about 10 years bringing renewable energy and energy efficiency to developing countries in Asia. It was exciting and rewarding yet quite challenging! I guess I love action and cannot stop!
I founded BeeBryte, my latest startup, with my business partner Patrick Leguillette in 2015. We’re based in France & Singapore and have now a team of 21. The company is intending to become a leader in energy intelligence solutions for commercial & industrial buildings. Our goal is to make buildings use less electricity and become smarter.
I’ve read that you are developing a cloud-based energy intelligence software which is expected to reduce utility bills by up to 40 per cent. How is this possible?
Our cloud-based Software-as-a-Service controls in real-time both batteries (that we install in the buildings) and existing heating / cooling equipment (e.g HVAC) to benefit from the cheapest tariff and deliver up to 40% utility bill savings.
We temporarily shift heating/cooling loads and use batteries as energy buffers to
- desynchronize the purchase of electricity from its consumption in a building,
- minimize energy costs without affecting occupants’ comfort,
- and maximize self-consumption from onsite generation (e.g. rooftop Solar PV).
We have a solution that helps large energy consumers buy more electricity from the grid when it is cheaper and less when it is expensive.
What do we call “energy intelligence” and what’s the role of your company in the process?
Thanks to a combination of affordable solar panels, batteries and internet connected building automation systems, energy users can now modulate the use of controllable / flexible load (e.g HVAC), release stored energy to meet a portion of the building load, reduce/increase its consumption of grid power according to price signals and capture the rewards by optimising electric service consumption and cost while conducting business as usual and not affecting comfort levels.
However to capture this opportunity, one needs an energy intelligence solution using data analytics to create significant economic value. And that’s where BeeBryte comes in.
We add value at three levels by facilitating the integration of renewable energy, helping customers lower their energy costs while increasing their power supply security and making the power grid more reliable and resilient.
By which mechanism does your system allow the customer to save energy?
BeeBryte’s Energy Intelligence solution optimises energy consumption by maximising self-consumption from onsite generation (e.g. Solar PV), capturing electricity price arbitrage opportunities, reducing network charges (peak-shaving) and bringing services to the Grid (e.g. demand-response).
This requires very complicated calculations to be made in real-time to define the optimal control strategy. We take care of it. With our solution in place, building managers are freed to focus on other cost-cutting strategies.
Our technology combines proprietary trading algorithms, cloud computing, and predictive analytics to offer dynamic energy optimization services fully integrated to the Internet of Things (IoT).
If I understand well, people will be able to buy and sell the energy through your system? How does it work?
In more and more countries, large energy consumers can buy their electricity on the spot market where price varies at any point in time. We make sure they buy at the right time.
In other places, BeeBryte is partnering with electricity retailers who are buying energy on the wholesale electricity spot market and then supplying it at flat rate (or on/off peak tariff) to their customers.
By installing BeeBryte’s solution in their clients’ buildings, electricity retailers can generate new revenues using their customers’ flexibility to buy energy at the cheapest price and to sell new grid services. It is for the electricity retailer a new hedging mechanism leading to higher margins.
Then, they can engage and retain their customers by sharing a portion of these savings through discounted rate plans. It is a win-win situation!.
How is your product different than the others?
Most of our competitors are primarily focused on peak shaving, whereas BeeBryte’s solution is the only one that can stack multiple services (arbitrage, peak-shaving, grid services) and offer advanced real-time price arbitrage capabilities that are interoperable with any tariff structure.
This patent-pending invention alone allows BeeBryte to extract 35–40% additional value than competitors in highly volatile real-time-pricing markets.
Some of the competitors have the capabilities to control batteries and others developed solutions to manage electric equipment. However, what is really needed is the combination of both to leverage demand-side flexibility at its maximum. That’s where BeeBryte really differentiates itself.
BeeBryte is supported by INTEL and has operational projects in France, Ireland and Singapore. We also just signed a contract with the City of Paris, which is quite exciting!
Interview by Anne-Sophie Garrigou