The Carlyle Group is apparently feeling energized by the electric market, dropping sizable investments last month on two young companies in a big bet on large-scale electricity storage.
The investment firm threw more than $100 million behind David Arfin’s NineDot Energy and Fermata Energy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The amount each company received from the investments, which the firm made in December, was not specified.
NineDot Energy is developing a dozen electric battery sites in New York City, each expected to be the size of a basketball court, according to the Journal. The company reportedly expects to complete its first battery installation in May.
The company specializes in buying lots in the outer boroughs before working with utility companies to connect batteries to the grid for local buildings and companies to purchase the power. The company qualifies for government subsidies.
Arfin founded the company in 2015. He previously worked for SolarCity Corp., where he pioneered the company’s lease financing for solar rooftop panels.
Fermata specializes in bidirectional charging technology for vehicles, according to the Journal. Owners have the ability to use the charging power from their cars for their own homes, or to even sell it back to power companies. Partners of the company include Nissan and Ford, though the company isn’t widely utilized at this point.
Carlyle has invested nearly $1.2 billion in renewable energy projects in the past two years.
“The next phase of the energy transition is about integrating renewable energy and the impact that is going to have on grid infrastructure,” Pooja Goyal, chief investment officer of the firm’s infrastructure group, told the Journal.
New York State has set a target of 100 percent clean energy by 2040. To that end, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently doubled the state’s 2030 energy storage target to 6,000 megawatts. According to the Journal, 130 megawatts of energy storage are currently operational in the state and 1,240 megawatts are under contract.
[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner