Morning brief: Blackstone buys energy storage developer, Spruce solar acquisition spree continues, PV on schools

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Blackstone acquired NRStor, a Toronto-based developer of large-scale battery storage projects in North America. Terms were not disclosed. NRStor has over 200 MWh of operational, in-construction and contracted battery projects. Fengate and Lake Bridge Capital are NRStor’s major stakeholders.

Why has the number of K-12 schools powered by solar doubled in three years? Acres of flat rooftops for solar panels, suppliers eager to provide deals and school boards looking to save money have schools emerging as the ideal candidates for solar energy. Science and math teachers lead the way: Dominion Energy in Virginia has created a curriculum and teacher training program — children learn how their school’s solar energy systems work, track energy usage and learn about the properties of the sun. More than 5% of all K-12 schools in the U.S. produce solar energy — double what it was just three years ago. Source: The Hill

Spruce acquisition spree continues: Spruce Finance just closed on the acquisition of a 27.6 MW solar asset portfolio made up of 3,668 residential rooftops from Greenbacker. Spruce is a private holder of residential solar assets with more than 200 MW under management. Spruce acquired 31.3 MW of rooftop solar assets from Atalaya Capital a few months ago. Source: Spruce Finance

$89 M RINGO energy storage project starts work in France: Italian multinational Nidec started work on the first energy storage system in France as part of an $89 M pilot for French transmission system operator RTE to “optimize management of energy flows on the transmission grid in Vingeanne in the Côte-d’Or department of eastern France.” RTE aims to prevent grid congestion at peak demand with help from a 12 MW/24 MWh lithium-ion battery. Source: Power Engineering

Wind turbine records: 2019 saw nearly 100GW of global wind turbine order capacity, shattering the previous record set in 2018. China is integral to this growth, both onshore and offshore. Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas dominated in 2019. Source: WoodMac