UL acquires microgrid software specialist HOMER Energy

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Although it has a big focus on microgrids, HOMER also produces energy storage modelling software for applications that include commercial peak shaving (pictured). Image: Andy Colthorpe / Solar Media

HOMER Energy announced that it has been bought by global safety certification company UL, following the completion of the aquisition on 16 December. 

The company, best known for its microgrid software, says the move will allow it to grow. While in the short term little is likely to change for those who use its technology, in the long term there will be greater support and services for its user base, as well as more integration with other software.

Dr. Peter Lilienthal, HOMER’s founder and head of microgrid software solutions said:

“I’ve been working in distributed renewables, microgrids, island grids, and minigrids for almost 40 years, developing the HOMER software for over 25 years, and leading HOMER Energy with Marilyn Walker for the past 11 years. Our growth strategy for HOMER Energy has been very conservative as we waited for the distributed generation market to mature. That has now happened, and it is time to accelerate HOMER Energy’s growth.”

Lilienthal continues to say that the company could not think of a better partner than UL. The certification company has a positive track record in acquisitions, having bought AWS Truepower in 2016. UL's certification standards and services meanwhile continue to inform the industry on accepted benchmarks and guidelines on best practises including safety, with Samsung SDI recently touting being the first manufacturer to attain accreditation for UL 9540A: Test Method for Evaluating Thermal Runaway Fire Propagation in Battery Energy Storage Systems, which the accreditation group issued “to help manufacturers have a means of proving compliance” to stringent new fire regulations in the US. 

“The distributed energy market is a fast-growing segment of the renewable power industry,” said Jeff Smidt, vice president and general manager, UL’s Energy and Power Technologies division.

“By combining our expertise in product testing certification and HOMER Energy’s expertise in system design capabilities, we will help customers along the microgrids value chain realise more value and reinforce UL’s mission to make the world a safer place.’’

The move will allow HOMER to remain technology-and vendor-neutral, while being part of a larger company focused on the digital energy transformation. The company will sit within the Energy and Power Technologies division on UL.

HOMER grew out of work at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory 17 years ago.

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