Total SA's (EPA:FP) venture capital arm has acquired a stake in California-based AutoGrid, stepping up its investments in the smart grid area.
The funding round is intended to finance AutoGrid's expansion, the French oil and gas group said, without specifying the scale of the investment.
"Following on from the acquisition of stakes in [US energy storage companies] Sunverge and Stem, this latest investment strengthens TEV’s portfolio in the area of smart grids," said Philippe Sauquet, president of Gas, Renewables & Power at Total.
AutoGrid, set up in 2011, develops digital solutions to manage and optimise energy supplied to and from the power grids. The technology enhances energy efficiency and also supports the integration of renewables into the grid. The company's customers include utilities and equipment manufacturers that produce electricity from solar panels, batteries and other sources, Total said.
Total, majority owner of US solar company SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR), recently completed its takeover bid for the shares in battery maker Saft Groupe. Saft's battery offering will complement Total's renewable energy portfolio with electricity storage solutions which, it says, is an important part of the future growth of the renewable energy industry.