Utility-backed fund raises $681 million for advanced energy technologies


The electricity utilities are the biggest players on the block. Being the biggest means you make a lot of money and you attract smart people. A few years back, these smart, wealthy people got together to create Energy Impact Partners (EIP): an investment collaboration between 14 electric utilities serving over 85 million customers, generation over $200 billion. Their goal is to find ready-for-primetime companies who are “shaping the energy landscape of the future”.

With that, the company has announced that it has closed a funding round with up to $681 million to invest in the batch of cutting-edge advanced energy companies. Included in this total is $531 million in EIP’s Flagship Fund as well as access to $150 million in debt from the U.S. Small Business Administration for EIP’s credit platform, Energy Impact Credit Fund (EICF).

EIP has already deployed over $200 million into advanced energy technology companies (listed on their investments page) including Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Arcadia Power, AutoGrid, BHI Energy, Cimcon Lighting, Inc., Clevest, Dragosecobee, Enchanted Rock, FirstFuel, Greenlots, Mosaic, Opus One Solutions, Powerphase, Sense, Sparkfund, Tendril, and Urbint.

Another EIP portfolio company, smart home security technology firm Ring, was acquired by Amazon in March 2018 for $1 billion.

EIP notes on their website what drives their investment partners, and the second from the top (image above) is to learn about competitive threats. In essence, if you’ve got a technology that can destroy us, we’d like to learn from and integrate it.

Bloomberg notes that utility backed acquisitions are climbing.

Coincidentally, EIP has invested in Greenlots and has partnered with Burns & McDonnell, per coverage by pv magazine this morning.

Hundreds of billions are being spent on solar energy every year, along with $26 trillion and 65 million jobs potentially in the long game, and this is only one of the technologies that will be transforming the electricity sector. Expect more announcements of this nature.

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