European energy giant Vattenfall has made a play for the C&I demand side response market by acquiring Dutch energy software start-up Senfal.
Senfal provides software to large industrial customers and owners of distributed generation and storage assets which promises to “unlock” the value of their inherent flexibility.
Based out of Amsterdam, Senfal’s trading technology uses advanced, AI-driven algorithms to determine the optimal use of energy assets, while trading ‘bots’ make autonomous buy or sell decisions in short-term markets.
It can also control and adjust production schedules to more effectively monetise flexibility, professing to “substantially reduce” the energy bills of large industrial customers and make significant improvements to the power trading profits of wind, solar and battery storage project owners.
Sander ten Kate, managing director at Senfal, said the deal would allow the firm to scale its technology.
The two companies already had an existing relationship which comprised Senfal’s services being offered to Vattenfall’s C&I client base, however the Swedish state-owned utility now expects to accelerate the roll-out of the platform having acquired Senfal outright.
Erik Suichies, who heads up Vattenfall’s Europe-facing wholesale customer business, said Senfal had gained a wealth of experience in the automated demand response sector.
“Adding their competence and solutions will strengthen Vattenfall’s position of being the preferred energy supplier for industrial customers and renewable operators in Northwestern Europe,” he said.
As M&A activity in the energy sector has accelerated this year, demand side response and energy trading firms have shot towards the top of the shopping list. Last month Shell acquired London-based energy tech firm Limejump, which in turn followed French utility Engie buying a majority stake in KiWi Power.