By Kristy Dorsey

Scottish software developer Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) is on course for break-even in its latest financial year after hitting the £20 million milestone in research and development projects underpinned by its technology.

The platform developed by Glasgow-based SGS allows operators to connect wind turbines, solar panels and other sources of renewable energy to the distribution grid at greater speed and less cost than traditional methods. It also enables grid management to accommodate more power and energy storage to balance supply with demand levels.

The company’s energy software is now being used in more than two dozen R&D projects in the UK, the US and Europe. Some of its biggest partners include SP Energy Networks, UK Power Networks and New York’s Con Edison.

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With a healthy order book that has not been hampered by the coronavirus outbreak, SGS is on course to post a double-digit hike in revenues when it files its accounts for the year to March 31 in the coming few weeks. This is expected to result in the company’s first break-even year since it was set up in 2008 as a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde.

During the year to March 2019, SGS saw a 22% increase in turnover to £7.2m. Pre-tax losses narrowed to £1.5m against £2.3m previously.

Bob Currie, chief technology officer and co-founder of SGS, said reaching net-zero to combat climate change will require more than just replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. Operators must also be able to control their electricity grids for smarter energy use.

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“Progress is already being made to decarbonise our power grids, but the real victories will come when our heat and transport networks are also electrified to remove or minimise carbon dioxide emissions,” Mr Currie said.

“That means connecting cars, vans and other (electric vehicles) to the grid so they can be rechanged, and also heating and cooling our homes, businesses and factories using electricity instead of gas, oil or other polluting fuels.”

SGS’s distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) software is on track to exceed 1.3GW of renewable generation, storage and flexible load under control. The company has been funded to date by approximately £6m of investment from Scottish Equity Partners, the Scottish Investment Bank and the University of Strathclyde.