A French utility corporation, Engie, has bought up an 80% stake in Californian battery-storage agency Green Charge Networks, signally a move by the French utility into large-scale battery storage.
The acquisition of a controlling share in the Californian battery company follows a similar move made by Engie’s rivals Total, another French utility, who spent $1.1 billion on a controlling share of Saft, a battery company specialising in high-capacity lithium-ion batteries.
The exact specifics of the deal between Engie and Green Charge have not yet been released, but it is reasonable to assume that after taking such a share that the French firm will be making investments in the US company. At the moment, Green Charge Networks sports a portfolio of 150 projects around the US, either finished or under construction, with 48 megawatt-hours of energy storage each. Most of it is currently aimed at the commerce and industry sector – those who stand to save the most by buying cheap energy in their off-hours and using it during their operating hours when prices are higher.
This move adds Green Charge to Engie’s growing list of connections in North America, and connects the battery firm to one of their other new acquisitions, South African solar power specialists Eskom. The South African renewables firm signed a memorandum of understanding with Engie last month that will see 100MW worth of solar power projects developed in the near future.
Frank Demaille, the CEO and President of Engie’s North American division, said on Thursday that “Acquiring Green Charge Networks will directly reinforce Engie’s existing strengths and experience with decentralised energy management, off-grid power management solutions, and power reliability.”
Inresponse, Vic Shao, CEO of Green Charge NEtworks, said that “The long-term financial and industrial support of Engie makes this an opportunity for Green Charge Network to scale our business to a previously impossible level.”