Distributed Energy Storage Attracts Funding from Major Infrastructure Investors

Distributed storage firm Stem, which combines software and batteries, increased its project financing pool to more than $350 million with the addition in August of up to $100 million from Starwood Energy Group, a private investment firm focused on energy infrastructure with $1.9 billion in assets under management. Stem received a $100 million project finance round in 2014 from New York-based B Asset Manager and also received project financing from Clean Feet Investors in 2013 to finance no-money-down behind-the-meter smart storage projects with commercial and industrial customers.

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“We think [batteries] are becoming a viable and important option,” said Brad Nordholm, senior managing director and co-head at Starwood, speaking at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in June.

Stem’s primary project financing comes from Generate Capital, the new specialty finance company for resource innovation projects founded by Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison. Generate Capital recently announced over $150 million of sustainable infrastructure financing programs.

Shah tells CleanTechIQ that energy storage represents a large proportion of the deals that Generate is financing and he sees a “tremendous amount of uptake in the energy storage space” including both behind-the-meter and utility-scale storage.

In May, Stem announced that its systems operating or under contract had surpassed 68 MWh and that it received a $15 million Series C venture investment from Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management.

It also plans to deploy battery systems with up to 857 kilowatts of capacity in New York City by 2018 as part of Consolidated Edison’s maiden auction for demand-response services, says Bloomberg.

Another landmark energy storage project funding happened in July, as distributed energy storage firm Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) raised $200 million in equity project financing from Macquarie Capital, the infrastructure investing division of Macquarie Group with $367 billion in assets under management. AMS’s projects include a 50 megawatt contract with Southern California Edison to provide behind-the-meter battery storage in the western Los Angeles basin area. It is the largest project funding for distributed energy storage project to date, according to AMS.

For more insight on distributed energy storage, see CleanTechIQ’s industry briefingEmerging Opportunities in Distributed Energy Storage


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