Paris and San Francisco – September 14, 2015 – On the occasion of the visit to Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) in California by Isabelle Kocher, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of ENGIE, ENGIE concluded a $6 million investment in AMS, a California-based startup specialized in energy storage, through its Corporate Venture Fund ENGIE New Ventures. This investment makes ENGIE the largest strategic investor in AMS and will expand the company’s efforts to develop the first comprehensive B2B energy storage solution.
AMS offers a unique energy storage solution to utilities, tapping into large, concentrated building loads to reduce the load on the grid when dispatched by the utility. Participating businesses benefit with reduced energy costs and enhanced reliability by shaving peak energy demand by as much as 25%.
AMS landed one of the first and largest utility contracts for energy storage in the U.S. and is building 50 MW of B2B energy storage projects for Southern California Edison, a U.S. utility company. Using Tesla energy storage systems, these projects will become the first hybrid-electric building fleets used for grid support in the world. In a market, which could represent USD 6 billion in 2020, AMS expects its business to grow at a rapid pace in the four years to come. ENGIE will focus its full support to expand AMS solutions in the U.S. market and overseas.
Isabelle Kocher, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at ENGIE, said “This is a fantastic opportunity to join forces with AMS and developing valuable storage solutions for our B2B customers. Renewable energy is taking a lead worldwide and with advanced energy storage technology we can both solve the problem of intermittency and make the grid more resilient.”
Susan Kennedy, Founder and CEO of AMS, said “Having ENGIE as a strategic partner will give AMS the strength and expertise to grow our business in the US and internationally. ENGIE’s focus on clean energy, storage-as-a-service and grid resiliency make them one of the most valuable players to enter the energy storage space today.”
The finest hour for energy storage
With global renewable energy capacities expected to reach 2550 GW in 2020 against 1940 GW in 2015 (representing a 24% increase on the period), the world of energy is taking a decisive turn for decades to come. While dropping manufacturing costs are making renewables competitive against most fossil fuels, the last hurdle remaining was their intermittency. Thanks to energy storage solutions developed by AMS, businesses and utilities will now enjoy full profit from renewable energies.
A new investment for ENGIE in the United States
AMS represents the second investment of ENGIE New Ventures in the U.S. in less than a year; last February, ENGIE took a minority stake in Tendril, a Colorado-based company working on reinventing Energy Service Management thanks to an open, cloud-based software platform.
Launched in May 2014, ENGIE New Ventures has so far invested in 8 companies for a total of EUR 25 Million.