NextGrid Alliance Reaches 100 Member Milestone; National Grid Partners Announces Newest Investments

The NextGrid Alliance (NGA), a first-of-its-kind network that brings together utilities and startups to address the energy transition, today announced it now counts 100 utility companies from around the world as active members.

Founded in 2020, the NGA has made rapid headway attracting participation from global utilities that provide power to hundreds of millions of people, including Duke Energy, EDF, ConEd and Southern California Edison. The organization was founded by National Grid Partners (NGP), the corporate venture and innovation arm of National Grid, as a platform to fight climate change and scale energy innovation faster.

“The climate challenge is too big for any one company to solve. Utilities around the world are realizing significant value by sharing strategies and becoming co-innovators with startup leaders to scale technology across the energy ecosystem,” said Lisa Lambert, chief technology and innovation officer at National Grid and founder and president of National Grid Partners.

NGP also today introduced its two newest portfolio investments to accelerate the clean energy transition:

  • (London, U.K.), incentivizes electric vehicle drivers to charge at optimal times based on energy price and emissions. Its software platform services utilities such as National Grid, ConEdison New York and Volkswagen Naturstrom Elli to provide managed charging solutions for their customers. Drivers with home solar arrays also can use to optimize their EV charging with clean energy, reducing their power bills and reliance on fossil fuels. was founded by National Grid alumnus Nick Woolley and software engineer Chris Darby.
  • Modern Hydrogen (Bothell, WA) is a cleantech company focused on heat & hydrogen. It helps utilities and commercial and industrial (C&I) heating equipment companies that rely on natural gas today and are looking for ways to reduce emissions quickly. Modern’s revolutionary system decarbonizes natural gas & biogas to produce clean hydrogen onsite, by removing the carbon before it can be become CO2. The company’s other investors include Bill Gates, MIURA Co., and NextGrid Alliance member NextEra Energy.

“Utilities have historically avoided risk to prioritize reliability and compliance, but now we’re in the midst of cultural and business sea-change. For the first time, they’re incentivized to innovate and adopt clean energy, but many are seeking direction on where to start,” Lambert said. “By convening the NextGrid Alliance and investing in startups like these, we’re fostering progress across the industry.”

“We place great value in collaboration and in nurturing innovation,” said Alexina Jackson, Vice President, Strategic Development at the AES Corporation. “The Alliance and its working groups give us the opportunity to explore ideas with other utilities and startups. Together, we can look at the future vision of the energy transition and, in the near-term, what catalyzing technologies are going to get us there.”

The NGA provides member forums such as quarterly working groups and technology days, where utilities and startups can dive deeply into some of the most compelling challenges in the industry and accelerate innovative solutions. Today, five working groups bring together executives focused on net-zero carbon emissions, transmission networks, cybersecurity, innovation and corporate venture capital.

NGP has backed 42 companies since its 2018 launch, with seven successful exits and an industry leading percentage of portfolio “unicorns” (valued at more than $1B).

“The NGA really opens up the industry in a unique way,” said James Dean, CEO of London-based startup Sensat. “It’s a thesis around, ‘Where can we as utilities do better?'”

Sensat automates how infrastructure is planned, built, and managed by creating digital twins to enable faster, more effective decision making. The company has worked with National Grid on major infrastructure projects in the U.K., where Sensat’s visualization software platform dramatically streamlined the planning process and reduced costs. Sensat subsequently joined the National Grid Partners investment portfolio and will soon present its platform to other utilities at an NGA transmission working group.

“These utilities all have the same challenges, and the alliance gives them an opportunity to work together,” said Dean. “There’s no other forum for them to do this.”

About the NextGrid Alliance

The NextGrid Alliance brings the world’s energy providers together to ensure utility investment and innovation initiatives make an industry-wide impact. National Grid Partners launched the alliance to convene innovation, strategy, business development and operational executives from power utilities around the globe. Learn more at

About National Grid Partners

National Grid Partners (NGP) is the venture investment and innovation arm of National Grid plc, one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies. NGP invests for strategic and financial impact and leads companywide disruptive innovation efforts. The organization provides a multi-functional approach to building startups, including innovation (new business creation), incubation, corporate venture capital, business development and venture acceleration. NGP is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has offices in Boston, London, and New York. Visit

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