Enel buys U.S. energy software firm to bolster digital drive

People walk past the logo of Italy's biggest utility Enel at their Rome headquarter November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's biggest utility Enel ENEI.MI said on Wednesday it had bought US-based energy software company Demand Energy for an undisclosed sum as part of its digital drive to boost growth.

Demand Energy, a leader in the New York City power storage market, has designed software for storage systems in the U.S. and Latin America with an installed capacity of 3 megawatts.

It has a further 30 MW of projects in the pipeline.

Enel, which works in more than 30 countries, plans to use the software developed by the U.S. firm in its network business around the world.

“Through this deal we will be able to greatly strengthen our position in the growing battery storage market... expanding the development of renewables and storage both in the United States and globally,” Enel’s green energy head Francesco Venturini said.

Enel, Europe’s No. 1 utility in terms of customers, is seeking to upgrade its networks to cater for growing renewable energy business and prepare for a digital era when home appliances will be hooked up to the Internet.

Earlier on Wednesday Enel said it had signed a framework agreement with Saudi Electricity Company to work on power distribution and digitizing grids.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Pritha Sarkar