Alphabet's Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners will lead the distributed energy network developer's series C round and provide $80m for its virtual power plant.

Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), the renewable energy investment vehicle backed by internet technology group Alphabet, provided $20m in series C funding for US-based distributed energy technology developer OhmConnect yesterday.

The investment will involve SIP leading a series C round of undisclosed size for the company, and it was supplied alongside an $80m equity commitment to the virtual power plant it is developing. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was legal adviser for OhmConnect on the deal.

OhmConnect is working on a clean power supply model that will allow users to source energy from utility partners and receive rewards through a mobile app that incentivises them for not using electricity at the busiest times of day for the grid.

The SIP project financing is supporting Resi-Station, a 550 MW virtual power plant made up of hundreds of thousands of smart devices that will be distributed to customers, informing them when the best times are to reduce energy usage.

The company is also partnering Alphabet to distribute Nest thermostats as part of the roll-out of equipment required for Resi-Station.

Jeff Hamel, director of industry partnerships for Alphabet subsidiary and Nest owner Google, said: “We have already seen how our partnership with OhmConnect has helped keep the lights on in California over the summer, and large-scale consumer-powered demand response programs like Resi-Station are a critical part of a future zero-carbon grid.”

Floodgate led OhmConnect’s $8.5m series B round in April 2018, participating with Aspect Ventures, City Light Capital, Radicle Impact, AME Cloud Ventures, Cthulhu Ventures and private investor Mark Pincus.

The same investors had previously supplied nearly $6.5m in series A funding for the company, CEO Matt Duesterberg told Greentech Media, without revealing details of when the cash was invested.