Shell New Energies announced the acquisition of a majority share in microgrid company GI Energy. This comes on the heels of an investment by Shell in an ice energy storage company and several others.
In April, Shell published its Energy Transition Report detailing its “intent to move in step with society toward a lower-carbon future.”
While Shell’s investments still represent just a small fraction of overall capital expenditures, it does however indicate major energy players are valuing clean energy technologies — or at least hedging their bets.
Tom Chadwick, CEO of GI Energy said in an interview that GI Energy has a pipeline of very interesting projects across North America and that Shell’s balance sheet will be enormously useful in getting them built.
GI Energy designs, builds, operates and owns energy assets for microgrids. The largest project it is working on (and the one that Shell took note of, according to Chadwick) is located in San Francisco at Hunters Point. When the RFP for the project was announced, the small 30-person GI Energy bid against large energy players like Ameresco, NRG, Bosch-Siemens and others, according to Chadwick, and won.
Once the project is built, GI Energy will sell power to the residents of the planned green community, which is being developed by Lennar.
“Shell is very comfortable owning long-term energy assets,” said Chadwick, pointing to Shell’s history in the oil and gas sector where owning drilling rigs and pipelines for many years is the norm.
In a release on the Shell investment, GI Energy said it looked forward to working with MP2, another recent Shell acquisition with demand response and C&I solar offerings. GI Energy’s offices in Chicago, New York and California could support MP2 in building a presence in those areas.