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Published on May 22nd, 2016 | by James Ayre


French Utility Engie Enters Battery Storage Business With Acquisition Of 80% Stake In Green Charge Networks

May 22nd, 2016 by  

The French utility company Engie has acquired an 80% stake in the Californian firm Green Charge Networks, according to recent reports — marking the company’s entrance into the battery storage sector.

The majority acquisition of the Californian company follows a similar move made recently by Engie’s fellow French utility company Total — a $1.1 billion purchase of shares of the lithium-ion battery technology company Saft.

green charge networks

While the specifics of the recent deal between Engie and Green Charge Networks haven’t been publicly revealed, it seems likely that Engie will be putting some of its considerable resources at the disposal of the American firm. Green Charge Networks currently maintains offices in San Diego, Santa Clara, and New York.

The current Green Charge Networks portfolio consists of 48 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage projects deployed or under construction — at 150 different sites around the US. Most of this project capacity pertains to industrial and commercial clients — in particular as a means of load management for those to whom such an approach can lead to notable savings.

Despite being a French company, Engie already possesses a large, and growing, network of clients in North America. The company has also begun expanding into the renewable energy sector — this includes the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with the South African firm Eskom that will see 100 megawatts (MW) of new concentrating solar power (CSP) projects developed.

The company also recently invested in the American cloud-based energy service management software Tendril.

The CEO and President of Engie’s North America business unit, Frank Demaille, commented: “This acquisition will reinforce Engie’s strengths and skills in the activities of decentralized energy management, off-grid solutions, and power reliability.”

The CEO of Green Charge Networks, Vic Shao, commented as well: “Engie’s long-term financial and commercial support presents an opportunity to scale our business to a completely new level.” 


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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