SEP powers up Smarter Grid Solutions with £3m funds

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Investment firm Scottish Equity Partners has led a £3 million funding round in Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) to help the Glasgow-based company take its electricity network technology to Europe and North America.

SGS – which lists Scottish- Power, SSE and Western Power Distribution among its clients – has offices in Scotland and London and now plans to open a site in the United States.

The company has created software to help electricity distribution and transmission networks to manage peaks and troughs in demand from customers.

So-called smart grids – which can cope with the intermittent nature of some forms of renewable energy, such as wind power – are becoming more important as utility companies strive to hit government targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The global market for “smart grids” is expected to be worth $56 billion (£35bn) by 2020, said SGS, which was founded in 2008 and already employs 30 staff.

Strathclyde University, from which SGS was spun out, and the Scottish Investment Bank also took part in the funding round.

News of the investment came as Smart Metering Solutions (SMS), the Aim-quoted gas meter supplier, said that its full-year sales and profits will be about 10 per cent above City expectations.

House broker Cenkos had previously pencilled in sales of £18.9m and pre-tax profits of £5.7m for 2012.

Glasgow-based SMS, which joined Aim in July 2011, will post its full-year results in March.

The upbeat update came a day after Livingston-based rival Energy Assets issued a similarly-positive trading statement.

• G4S, the outsourcing firm that failed to provide enough guards for venues at the London Olympics, yesterday won a meter-reading contract worth at least £150 million from Centrica, the FTSE 100 giant that owns British Gas and Scottish Gas.