Distribution Automation / Substation Automation, Energy Storage, News, Smart Grid, T&D

Toronto-based energy storage firm acquired by Blackstone

Utility-scale energy storage, with the potential to enable a historic amount of renewable generation resources, also should increasingly attract high levels of investment in coming years.

That forecast was borne out again this week when private equity giant Blackstone announced that funds within its Energy Partners division have completed the acquisition of a Toronto-based developer of battery storage solutions. NRStor C&I LP targets scale storage deployment opportunities in North America.

The company currently has more than 200 MWh of operational, in-construction and/or contract projects in the North American market. NRStor provides those energy storage solutions through a turn-key build, own and operate business model.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Blackstone also owns Clarion Energy, which is the parent company of Power Engineering, POWERGRID, Renewable Energy World, DISTRIBUTECH and POWERGEN International.

“Battery storage will play an important role in the North American power grid and be critical to achieving ambitious renewable targets,” said Bilal Khan, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Energy Partners. “NRStor is a pioneer in energy storage and we look forward to helping the leadership team further build out the company’s platform to reach new markets and opportunities.”

Among NRStor’s projects includes compressed air (pictured), flywheel and battery storage facilities in its native Ontario province. NRStor also has been involved in microgrid and Tesla Powerwall installations, according to the company’s website.

“We are extremely excited about the new partnership with Blackstone and the opportunity to further accelerate our growth and solidify our mission to provide end users and utilities with innovative storage solutions,” said Moe Hajabed, founder and CEO of NRStor. “Blackstone brings both the scale and the deep understanding of the renewable power and utility markets that will help us significantly expand our platform and deliver reliable, clean energy to more communities across North America. We look forward to this new chapter of our growth.”

Fengate Asset Management, LIUNA Pension Fund, Elliott and Susi Partners were the lead investors in NRStor prior to its sale to Blackstone Energy Partners.

Blackstone Energy Partners globally has invested in or committed $16 billion in capital to a broad range of energy sectors, including conventional power generation, renewables and oil and gas.

In 2018, Wood Mackenzie forecast that the U.S. energy storage market could grow to $4.5 billion by 2023.