South Korea’s Doosan acquires US software start-up 1Energy Systems

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David Kaplan, founder of 1Energy, and Daejin Choi, CEO of Doosan GridTech. Source: Doosan
Corporate industrial holdings company Doosan has acquired Seattle-based 1Energy Systems, which develops the software platform needed to automatically integrate distributed energy resources (DER) into the grid.

The acquisition, closed on 30 June for an undisclosed amount, gives the South Korean giant access to the US market with 1Energy being renamed Doosan GridTech and becoming a subsidiary of Doosan Heavy Industries (DHIC), which mainly oversees energy and water generation projects. According to Doosan, 1Energy’s “advanced ESS control system technology” will complement its broad scope of storage technologies and enable them to offer the full package of storage design, installation and operation.

“Wind, solar power, and energy storage are changing how the grid operates,” said David Kaplan, 1Energy CEO who will become COO of Doosan GridTech. “Intermittent and distributed sources of both energy demand and generation require a dynamic, digital grid, where power flows both ways – to and from the end customer. 1Energy was founded to solve these problems, and becoming part of Doosan helps us further our mission.”

The newly-formed Doosan GridTech will now be offering software controls that operate electric grids and microgrids, which are becoming increasingly popular; particularly for remote and island communities. The pairing of the software with energy storage will accelerate the capabilities of utilities in managing distributed resources and enable them to capture new value streams across the grid.

It is working with utilities such as North Carolina’s Duke Energy and Texas’ Austin Energy to enable them to mitigate against the effects of variable renewable energy. Doosan GridTech also manages around 30MW of energy storage projects using its platform. The acquisition was a great fit for both parties – as the tech start-up was unable to scale in conjunction with growing customer demand. In turn, Doosan is now able to compete on the software front with other storage software giants offering distributed energy resources management programmes.

“Doosan’s global customers are confronting two critical, long-term trends: Increased electrification of the world’s energy systems driven by public policies to reduce carbon emissions, and the declining costs of renewable technology,” said Ji Taik Chung, DHIC vice chairman and COO. “1Energy’s technologies directly address these trends and perfectly complement Doosan’s existing power generation solutions.”

Last September, Doosan was selected as the leading company of a state-led project to implement smart grids. The company secured a contract to supply 2.4MWh of energy storage systems to the Korea Power Exchange headquarters. Moving forward, the company plans to expand its reach overseas to Southeast Asia and Europe. The creation of Doosan GridTech will give the company widened access into the booming US market.

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