Thursday, March 13, 2008

Computerized Electricity Systems raises $3.75m from AquAgro Fund

"Globes" reports that AquAgro Fund has made its second investment, investing $3.75 million in Computerized Electricity Systems Ltd. (CES). AquAgro declined to disclose the company value for the investment, but market sources believe that it was more than $10 million, before money.

CES's technology aims to replace the household electricity box, enabling electric utilities to reduce the demand on the grid during peak hours in a uniform and equitable way for all customers, thus avoiding the need for initiated blackouts and brownouts of entire neighborhoods.

AquaAgro made its first investment in January, investing $4 million in Advanced Desalination Technologies Ltd. AquaAgro has also set up Aqua Lab, which will invest in early-stage cleantech start-ups.

CTO Lupu Wittner founded CES in 2002. Based in Netanya and managed by CEO Yaron Sheinman, CES has 15 employees in Israel, mostly R&D staff. A representative in the US handles business development.

South Africa-based "Engineering News" reports that CES's technology has been successfully tested in Israel by the Israel Electric Corporation, in South Africa by state power utility Eskom, and in the US by the Energy Power Research Institute.

In a lengthy interview with Engineering News, CTO Lupu Wittner says that the company plans to install its product in South Africa beginning in March, initially importing systems from Israel, with a long-term plan of creating a manufacturing facility in South Africa.

Homes that consume the highest amount of electricity are the targeted clients for the product, says Wittner.

"If two-million electricity customers with high consumption accept a 20% saving structure through this system, Eskom could potentially save to 4,000 MW."