EDF Renewable Energy wades into the C&I DER space with new business unit

Dive Brief:

  • EDF Renewable Energy has created a business unit that will focus on distributed solar and storage projects of up to 30 MW.

  • The company says its Distributed Electricity and Storage unit will pursue emerging distributed energy opportunities in order to provide products and services to commercial, industrial and utility customers in the United States.

  • EDF RE says it will use groSolar, a developer of commercial and industrial (C&I)and municipal solar projects that it acquired early last year, as its platform.

Dive Insight:

EDF RE, an affiliate of French energy giant EDF, is not the first European-based company to beef up its U.S. distributed energy operations. Engie (formerly known as GDF Suez) acquired an 80% stake in Green Charge Networks in May of last year.

EDF RE brings considerable experience to its new venture. The company says it has developed 9 GW of wind, solar, bioenergy and storage projects in North America. Globally, EDF has deployed over 300 MW of storage projects, and is now looking to become a leader in that space with its new distributed energy arm. 

EDF RE brought on two new executives for its new DES effort. Tom Leyden, former CEO of Solar Grid Storage, and Felix Aguayo, former managing director at SunEdison, now have senior positions at DES.

“C&I and utility customers are missing the opportunity to increase their reliability and reduce costs by not taking a more holistic approach to their energy procurement and asset utilization,” Leyden said in a statement. But as Greentech Media noted, C&I renewable projects face financing challenges, which hindered the sector's ability to grow and resulted in very few solar-plus-storage projects to date. But a report from GTM Research last year said the economics of storage in particular for C&I could take off in five years as costs fall.  

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Corporate News
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