CleanSpark acquires GridFabric

  • September 14, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Utah-based software and services company CleanSpark, has acquired GridFabric, a Californian creator of software that powers utilities and IoT products that manage energy loads.

GridFabric principals Ben Dupont and Matt Hale will be joining CleanSpark.

GridFabric created the original OpenADR open source automated demand response standard released by the Electric Power Research Institute. OpenADR 2.0b is now the basis for a standard to be developed by the IEC.

GridFabric’s core products are Canvas and Plaid. Canvas is an OpenADR 2.0b virtual top node (VTN) built for testing and managing virtual end nodes (VENs) that are piloting and running load-shifting programmes. Canvas is offered in the cloud on an SaaS basis or as licensed software.

Plaid is licensed software that allows any internet connected product that uses energy – such as solar, storage and inverters, demand response, EV charging, lighting, industrial controls, and building management systems – to add load-shifting capabilities by translating load-shifting protocols into their existing APIs.

Companies that implement Plaid get a certified OpenADR 2.0b VEN as though they built it from scratch. GridFabric has facilitated dozens of Plaid integrations with companies of all sizes, ranging from major utilities to companies offering custom IoT energy products.

CleanSpark will use GridFabric’s communications protocols as an integral part of its demand response offerings integrated into mPulse. During the coming months, the two companies will be launching a product for the IEEE 2030.5 standard for smart energy profile applications. This standard has been selected as the default protocol for the Californian microgrid industry. 

“We believe the acquisition of GridFabric further positions CleanSpark to continue to outperform our competitors by more rapidly advancing our demand response programmes integrated into our industry leading mPulse distributed energy controls platform,” said Zachary Bradford, CleanSpark’s CEO. “Retaining GridFabric’s software technology and expert staff is a logical extension of our business model. This transaction will provide multiple opportunities to deliver additional value and add revenue streams through mPulse driven demand response programmes to our existing customers.”

He said by understanding the widely accepted OpenADR standard, the company quickly recognised the need for a provider.

“After an extensive evaluation process, we believe we secured the premier provider in this space, further enhancing CleanSpark’s technological advantages,” he said. “GridFabric also brings a significant built-in client base that we believe will immediately provide cross-selling opportunities for CleanSpark’s core product lines.”

Lori Love, chief financial officer of CleanSpark, added: “This acquisition immediately adds to CleanSpark’s revenue stream by layering-on an additional value-added SaaS product that may be implemented independently from, or in conjunction with, our mPulse platform. We anticipate that the acquisition alone will add close to $1m in revenue over the span of the coming year, and significantly more in the following years as we provide resources to the GridFabric team to grow. Perhaps more importantly, this acquisition brings existing, recurring revenue and positive cash flows immediately.”

CleanSpark provides software and intelligent controls for microgrid and distributed energy resource management systems and strategy and design services. The company provides energy software and control technology that allows energy users to obtain resiliency and economic optimisation.

Its software can let a microgrid be scaled to the user’s needs and can be implemented across commercial, industrial, military, agricultural and municipal deployments. Products and services consist of intelligent energy controls, microgrid modelling software and consulting services in design, technology and business process methodologies.

CleanSpark has deployed its first mPulse software on a microgrid project in Central America. On an industrial equipment retail facility in San Jose, Costa Rica, the project uses the mPulse controller to coordinate all aspects of the system and improve performance. The microgrid will consist of a 222kW PV solar system, and a Tesla 111kW, 223kWh Powerpack provided by CleanSpark. The system is integrated with standby diesel generation for use in the event of a sustained power disruption.