SunPower pours $20m into energy software company Tendril

California-headquartered solar manufacturer SunPower has invested $20 million of growth capital into Tendril – a data-driven software company that has developed a smart energy services management (ESM) platform software.

The collaboration will see the ESM platform define SunPower’s growing personalized energy services sector, which has become a key tenet of the company’s ongoing evolution.

Augmented by SunPower’s hefty weight of solar-related data, Tendril’s ESM platform could revolutionize the advancement of smart energy applications, bringing greater energy control and transparency to a raft of utilities and power consumers.

The ESM platform enhances the level of data control, insight and choice available to its users, and also boasts a range of marketing packages that can help consumers make the right choice when selecting their personalized solar solutions.

"Consumers want even more flexibility to tailor their energy supply and usage to fit their lifestyles, beliefs and financial goals," said SunPower president and CEO Tom Werner. "We know that in order to deliver customized offers and choices to customers, we have to first understand individual customer needs."

SunPower has gone big on customer focus in recent months. Its pursual of bringing CCOE (Customer Cost of Electricity) to the fore has become a key aim for the company, and recent moves within the module-level power electronics field (such as the acquisition of microinverter company SolarBridge earlier this year) and this deal with Tendril suggest that the solar giant is predicting big things for this portion of the market.

Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck remarked that the partnership with SunPower will increase energy consumers’ understanding of their own levels of consumption, putting them at the levers of control and effecting a change in how renewable energies are viewed.

"This partnership will extend the understanding of the energy consumer on an individual basis, particularly with solar, and will increase engagement and value to energy consumers," Tuck said, adding that the partnership will allow SunPower, Tendril and utility partners to "better serve their customer base with even more personalized programs and services."