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Google, Microsoft back 24/7 carbon-free electricity tracking startup

FlexiDAO plans to scale its renewables tracking platform, particularly in the US and Europe, with $6.5 million raised in Series A funding.

FlexiDAO plans to scale its renewables tracking platform, particularly in the US and Europe, with $6.5 million raised in Series A funding.

The funding round was led by Amsterdam-headquartered energy venture provider SET Ventures and included Google and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund as well as existing investor EIT InnoEnergy.

FlexiDAO, a Spanish-Dutch startup, is a renewables matching and certification platform built on the blockchain for 24/7 carbon-free electricity and carbon tracking.

In particular, FlexiDAO aims to improve the hourly power match for companies sourcing renewables, given their intermittency and that energy contracts are traditionally on longer timescales, often as long as annually.

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To this end, the company has developed the ‘carbon-free energy score’ (CFE) with which to measure usage, with an online calculator to enable companies to estimate their individual scores.

For example, in a three-month pilot with Microsoft at an Amsterdam data center using renewable power sourced from Eneco, a 78% CFE score was recorded.

In addition to the ongoing pilot with Microsoft, FlexiDAO is running a demonstrator with Google spanning data centers in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

The company is also partnering with Acciona Energy and Total Energies as renewable energy generators. Acciona FlexiDAO also has developed a green hydrogen tracking platform, which is being implemented in the Green Hysland project on the island of Mallorca.

The Microsoft datacenter site in Quincy, Washington will host a hydrogen demonstration project. (CNW Group/Ballard Power Systems Inc.)

One of the hottest trends in corporate clean energy procurement is 24/7 carbon-free electricity: An hour-by-hour match of an entity’s energy consumption throughout the day, instead of the traditional method of buying clean energy credits based on annual consumption.

The procurement process, pioneered by Google, Microsoft, and others, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean up local electric grids, but is still relatively uncommon.

Citing the thinking behind its investment, Maud Texier, Global Head of Clean Energy Development at Google, says: “As Google and others move towards 24/7 carbon-free energy, we need new capabilities that enable us to track with credibility how the carbon-free electricity produced matches what is consumed.”

Brandon Middaugh, Director of the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, concurs, saying: “Last year, Microsoft announced its 100/100/0 vision and commitment to have 100% of its electricity consumption, 100% of the time, matched by zero-carbon sources by 2030. We know that to achieve this goal, we will need innovative solutions like FlexiDAO that will help reliably track and verify carbon-free energy consumption.”

Simone Accornero, CEO and co-founder of FlexiDAO, says the new investment is a significant milestone for FlexiDAO, but also for the wider 24/7 carbon-free energy market.

“With our new partners, we can expand our global footprint and our product portfolio, offering solutions to support companies through their journey to 100% carbon-free energy. This includes the trading and procurement of granular hourly certificates for clean energy, helping customers accelerate their transition to net zero.”

FlexiDAO is present in 13 countries and has indicated being mainly focused on the US and European markets with the significant corporate demand for clean electricity and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

This story was originally published on Smart Energy International by Jonathan Spencer Jones

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