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Carlyle Group, Schneider Electric Back New Microgrid-as-a-Service Venture

A new player in the fledgling microgrid-as-a-service (MaaS) service emerged today. Led by a veteran team of power and energy industry executives, Dynamic Energy Networks today announced strategic alliances with Schneider Electric and The Carlyle Group, leaders in the microgird and private equity sectors, respectively.

Dynamic Energy Networks aims to own and operate microgrids and distributed energy resources and deliver electrical power and energy under long-term purchasing contracts to a wide range of organizations behind the utility meter – municipalities, campuses, hospitals and the military, according to a Nov. 6 news release.

Microgrids are at the forefront of wave of fundamental change sweeping over the power and energy sector, a transformation being fueled by the so-called three D's: digitization, decentralization and “decarbonization.” Providing energy-as-a-service connected to as well as independent of utility grids, the market segment has been forecast to grow to $221 billion by 2020, according to Navigant Research, the alliance partners point out. 

Energy as a service

“Working together with Schneider Electric and The Carlyle Group, we aim to transform the market to deliver holistic Energy-as-a-Service with innovative financial and technology solutions,” CEO Karen Morgan stated in the release. Morgan’s 25 years of experience in energy and industrial finance includes leading RET Capital, a $750 million investment company that invested in utility-scale solar and wind generation assets across North America.

Dynamic Energy Networks announced it has hired a veteran executive team from Hitachi and RET Capital to round out its management ranks in addition to its strategic alliances with Schneider Electric and The Carlyle Group.  

The combination of an experienced team of industry executives and bright market prospects apparently was enough to convince Schneider Electric and The Carlyle Group to back and devote the financial and technological resources and expertise Dynamic Energy Networks will need in order to realize its strategic goals.  

Heavyweight backing

Carlyle will invest capital from its Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, as well as other internal sources, in MaaS investments the alliance partners agree to make.

"The energy industry has experienced a tremendous growth in awareness and usage of microgrids in just the last year alone,” added Andrew Marino, a Carlyle managing director and co-head of Carlyle Global Infrastructure, the private equity investment company's infrastructure investing team.

“We’re thrilled to leverage the expertise of Dynamic Energy Networks and to partner with Schneider Electric to deliver microgrid solutions that enable Energy-as-a-Service.” 

“We’ve long been leaders in helping companies meet ambitious energy goals,” said Mark Feasel, vice president of Schneider Electric’s electric utility segment and smart grid business in the U.S. “Through our partnership with DEN and Carlyle, we can deploy solutions that leverage both world-class technology and new business models to transform the edge of the grid and optimize the energy value chain.”

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