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Leap Announces its Expansion in Texas Energy Market and New Partnership with Optiwatt

17 Nov 2021

Leap, the leading energy market access provider, announced its expansion into the Texas energy market, operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Leap also announced its new strategic partnership with electric vehicle home charging platform provider Optiwatt, marking one of the first residential EV aggregations to participate in Texas’ Emergency Response Service program.

“On the heels of Leap’s $33.5 million Series B funding, our team at Leap is hard at work to continue to develop and scale our platform to meet the growing demand for grid flexibility, especially in cases of extreme weather that threaten grid resiliency. We are excited to partner with Optiwatt in Texas and beyond, unlocking the flexible capacity that can be derived from EV owners via Optiwatt’s smart EV charging platform,” said Leap CEO Thomas Folker.

Leap initially stepped into the Texas energy market in October of 2020 and, in response to the disastrous winter freeze in 2021 that resulted in nearly 70% of Texans to lose power, Leap has since increased its capacity under management in the state to 19MW through existing and new strategic partnerships. As another winter season approaches, Leap is helping avoid blackouts by enabling distributed energy resources of all load sizes to contribute to grid flexibility, providing emergency load reduction to the ERCOT power grid in times of peak demand.

"Optiwatt’s industry-leading software tracks and manages electric vehicle charging, spending and savings, and automatically schedules charging during off-peak hours in order to save money for EV owners and reduce strain on the grid,” said Casey Donahue, Founder of Optiwatt. “Now, in collaboration with Leap, we are excited to launch one of the first residential EV aggregations to participate in the Emergency Response Service program in Texas and maximize the value that Texas EVs can contribute to the ERCOT power grid.”

The Emergency Response Service (ERS) is one of ERCOT’s grid service programs that is designed to decrease the likelihood of rolling blackouts. Qualified loads and generators, including aggregations of loads and generators, can participate in the program to lend capacity when called upon in times of electric grid emergencies.

On top of the stability and cost benefits Leap is delivering to the power grid in Texas, Leap’s energy market access platform also unlocks new revenue streams for Optiwatt’s and other Leap partners’ customers. Leap is also partnering directly with retail electricity providers who, in Texas, are exposed to volatile real-time market prices. Leap provides these retailers, and their underlying customers, the type of physical hedge that was previously only accessible to retailers who also own generating assets.

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