Voltus

26 - 50 Employees
< 10 Engineers
Private Funding
Series A

We are a team of engineers and energy experts working to get our customers paid for using less energy. First, we work with large energy consumers to identify demand response and distributed energy resources. Then we aggregate those resources into virtual power plants that we sell to utilities and other buyers in wholesale energy markets, splitting the revenue with our customers. Our virtual power plants are cleaner and cheaper than the coal and oil plants they replace. Along the way we have to solve the hard system reliability problem of making hundreds of commercial and industrial sites behave like a single, reliable power producer.

Voltus photo 1

Why join us?
  • Our team is stacked. Our founders took their previous company in the space public, we have the best energy markets team in the business, and our sales team consistently outperforms their targets. Our engineering team is just as good.

  • We are a strong business. We bootstrapped on revenue and were profitable in our first year. We have no need or plans to take in additional investment capital. Our business is sustainable and growing right now.

  • Our problems are hard. To the market, we are a power plant. We have to: 1. Report our output in real-time, often over arcane protocols. 2. Catch and react to market signals from a dozen wholesale markets in real-time with zero errors. 3. Manage and submit offers in wholesale energy markets in real-time.

    However, our power plant is made up of hundreds of businesses that make steel, rent office space, manufacture electronics—pretty much everything but supply energy. To make them a powerplant, we must: 1. Collect and relay realtime energy demand on our own proprietary hardware over a cellular network. 2. Manage a growing IoT network, including real-time stream processing and aggregation. 3. Relay market signals to customers in an intuitive way, identify and coach underperforming resources, and generally herd a lot of cats.

    We intend to do this at scale with a team that will stay small, and that means automating a lot of complex processes that our competitors solve with warm bodies.


Engineering at Voltus
Engineering team and processes

Our engineering team, like the rest of the company, is remote; however, we have a cluster of engineers in Brooklyn, NY. We have standup daily, with longer meetings bookending the week to set and review weekly goals. Once a week we have a one-hour seminar where someone on the team teaches the rest of the team something new.

A lot of our process is driven by the fact that our team is small and we intend to keep it that way. That means that we rely heavily on automation. We are CircleCI power users, and are moving towards (a fork of) Bazel for build and deployment automation. We work towards an ever-more-perfect automated testing and QA framework.

Also because our team is small, we work to structure our architecture to allow a lot of developer freedom and autonomy. We value low-friction deploys, continuous integration, and very robust automated integration and regression testing.

Technical Challenges

We build and manage our own network of customer hardware for collecting and relaying real-time energy data. We've worked hard to design a pipeline for that data that allows developers to tap into it at any stage of processing with minimal effort and friction. We are big Kafka fans.

A lot of our biggest challenges come from integrating with wholesale energy markets, which are not the most nimble technical organizations. We work to push the messiest parts of those integrations as far as possible from our core platform, and we build a lot of pretty exotic shims and scrapers to interact with them.

Projects you might work on
  • You would work to build a pipeline that detects possible customer integration failures based on real-time energy demand. We often integrate with customer building management systems to directly control customer load. Sometimes the customer side of that integration fails, but in a way that provides no direct feedback to us (i.e., healthchecks return healthy statuses). Can we infer a failure from real-time customer metering?

  • You would be building the integration to one of the largest North American wholesale energy markets for a new market we are entering this summer. The market allows us to update our offers hourly, and we are passing that flexibility on to customers by allowing them to give us their hourly availability. All we need to do is maintain a real-time portfolio across ten states, translate that to market offers, and pass the correct market signals back to the correct customers in real time.

  • One of the most traditionally labor-intensive parts of being an energy supplier is calculating how much energy you've provided and invoicing the market for it. The rules are complicated and written by bureaucrats (not engineers); it gets even more complicated when the energy is coming from many customer locations. We'd like to automate it by building out a market rules engine; energy demand data and dispatch history goes in, and invoices come out. This is a huge joint effort between engineering and energy markets.

Tech stack
Docker
Nomad
Terraform
Python
Flask
Go
Rust
React
Webpack
SciPy
Redis
PostgreSQL
Kafka
AWS
InfluxDB

Working at Voltus

Voltus is committed to hiring only folks that are Bright, Gritty, and Good. We're small and distributed, which means people have big responsibilities and a lot of flexibility in how they address them. It only works if everyone has the skills and raw horsepower to deliver and the drive to see projects through without being micromanaged. We believe we are pushing towards a better, cleaner future—our competitors are conventional power plants, and like to hire folks who feel good about shutting them down. No mercenaries, please.

We believe strongly in building a sustainable business in every sense of the word. In other words, it's not enough to build a clean energy alternative to power plants—it has to be an economically viable alternative for all parties. If we build something, it's because we believe it will contribute to a profitable business that will be around for the long haul. That means we have a culture that is oriented around clear goals and a willingness to double down on what's working and cut what isn't.

Generous Vacation

Voltus has an unlimited vacation policy.

Maternal/Paternal Leave

Three months paid maternity leave.

Flexible Hours

We are a fully remote company, spread across many timezones.

Health Insurance
Work from Home
Company Retreats

As a remote company, it's important to get everyone together quarterly at VoltusFest. Next up is Brooklyn.


External Links

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