Schneider Electric launches California Energy Action Program
Schneider Electric and Huck Capital have launched the California Energy Action Program to help California building owners and operators find energy solutions to prepare for future wildfire and climate events, manage rising energy costs and enable more energy independence.
The program’s cornerstone is the launch of GreenStruxure, a new company providing standardized renewable energy microgrids up to 5MWp which are designed to serve a wide range of socio-economic services such as hospitals, food and beverage operations, refrigerated warehouses, governmental buildings and universities, agriculture and wine facilities.
“We created GreenStruxure because medium-sized building owners and operators who want to adopt a clean, reliable energy solution need a trusted partner ready to work beside them for the long-term to meet their goals,” said Jose Lorenzo, GreenStruxure CEO. “This predictability and confidence has not been available to this size building but it’s more important now than ever in California.”
The company is focusing on customers with demanding sustainability targets, a need for reliable power to run their business, and spend of at least $30,000/month or about $350,000/year in electricity. Small and medium buildings represent over 90 percent of buildings in the US and Canada.
For larger scale projects, Schneider Electric can leverage its existing AlphaStruxure joint venture with The Carlyle Group, which currently serves its growing California base of commercial, industrial, data center, government and infrastructure customers.
Similar to its AlphaStruxure offering, customers have no upfront capital expenses, do not operate or maintain any equipment and commit to a predictable, long-term contract for energy that provides cost-effective, resilient, sustainable power. The new GreenStruxure solution can be up and running in under a year - an important factor considering this year is already California’s worst wildfire season and in three of the last four years, fires are on track to cause damages in excess of $10 billion.
In addition, the California Energy Action Program will use analytics and artificial intelligence to help identify and prioritize communities where solutions are particularly viable. The company will use the data to identify specific patterns, geographies and classifications of buildings that have the greatest need.
Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power
The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.
Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.
Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.
“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.
“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”
Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.
“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”
Global renewables updates
ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).
Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.
Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.
LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy.