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Caterpillar Invests In Developing Off-Grid Energy In Emerging Markets

Caterpillar has joined First Solar and several other prominent companies in investing in an energy solutions provider for emerging markets.

Caterpillar Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., announced that it is one of eight investors in a $20 million Series A investment round in Powerhive, an energy solutions provider for emerging markets. In addition to Caterpillar Ventures, other investors were American solar PV manufacturer First Solar, and venture capital firms Total Energy Ventures and Tao Capital Partners.

Powerhive-1The $20 million venture financing is intended to support Powerhive’s global expansion, and its continued growth in East Africa, where the company has operated rural microgrids since 2012. Powerhive, founded in 2011, partners with utilities and independent power producers in emerging markets to provide access to productive, affordable, and reliable microgrid electricity to millions in rural communities around the globe.

Caterpillar also intends to collaborate with Powerhive, integrating “Caterpillar’s depth of experience in emerging markets, technical expertise and scale with Powerhive’s pioneering microgrid solutions.”

“Caterpillar’s global reach and vast network of local partners will unlock new opportunities for electrification in remote, underserved regions,” said Powerhive CEO Chris Hornor. “We’re excited to work with a company that has built a reputation of integrity and quality during its 90-year existence and has been committed to a broad energy portfolio and sustainable development.”

“We are excited about our investment into Powerhive as it further positions Caterpillar as the go-to source for the complete microgrid solution,” said Steve Niehaus, Caterpillar Vice President with responsibility for the Electric Power Division. “No matter where our customers are in the world, they can turn to Caterpillar and our unmatched dealer network to integrate alternative energy solutions like solar and energy storage with our generator sets so they have a sustainable, reliable power solution that is fully supported for years to come.”

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