EnerNOC (ENOC) has been busy lately, and we’re not talking about cutting megawatts. The demand response leader has just made its tenth acquisition, buying M2M Communications, which delivers wireless, automated demand response solutions to the agricultural sector.
The $30 million purchase adds to EnerNOC’s portfolio of automated demand response that includes Global Energy Partners, a firm that uses OpenADR software and has a toehold in California, where EnerNOC is looking to expand.
M2M fills out the Boston-based DR giant’s Western offerings through its contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric (PCG), Idaho Power, PacifiCorp, Midwest Energy, and National Grid (NGG), and others. It allows EnerNOC to easily expand into the agricultural realm, which can eat up to 30 percent of a utility’s load in the West and Midwest. To cut those peaks, M2M, which is based in Boise, wirelessly networks farmers’ irrigation systems so that they can be remotely turned off during peak events.
“M2M has the unique ability to tap into largely un-penetrated markets, such as demand response at agricultural facilities,” Tim Healy, EnerNOC Chairman and CEO, said in a statement, “which represents more than 10,000 megawatts of DR potential in the United States and even more worldwide.”
Worldwide is the key word there, as EnerNOC also recently made its first deal overseas. And while the U.K. might not be a hotbed of modern farming, it is likely only the beginning of EnerNOC’s foray into the international scene.
More locally, EnerNOC estimates the market for agricultural demand response is about 1,000 megawatts in California alone. M2M already has a corner on that market by teaming with utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy to create the Peak Energy Agriculture Rewards (PEAR) program, which offers farmers rebates for cutting peak demand using M2M Communications.
The acquisition proves that EnerNOC, with more than 5 gigawatts already under its belt, is looking to build out its service offerings; it has already bought a building management company (Cogent Energy), a carbon accounting firm (eQuilibrium Solutions) and others. Just after it bought Global Energy Partners, an OpenADR company, it joined the OpenADR Alliance. A lighting management company, or more specialized automated DR firms are a good bet for acquisition No. 11.