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Statoil invests in energy storage developer Convergent Energy + Power

Statoil invests in energy storage developer Convergent Energy + Power

Statoil joins five other strategic investors in Convergent Power + Energy. Image: Statoil / Øyvind Torjussen.

A corporate venture fund set up by oil and gas company Statoil has invested in North American energy storage developer Convergent Energy + Power.

Norway-headquartered Statoil set up the US$200 million energy investment fund Statoil Energy Ventures in February this year. The fund is dedicated to renewable energy and the low carbon transition as the parent company seeks to add clean energy technologies and projects to its portfolio alongside its more traditional business areas in fossil fuels.

Convergent, which has offices in Canada and the US, revealed that Statoil and five other strategic investors are now supporting the company in its development, financing and operation of energy storage assets. In November, Convergent welcomed on board GXP Investments, an affiliate of US utility holding company Great Plains Energy Incorporated, as another one of those investors.

It is understood the investment from Statoil Energy Ventures will drive the expansion of Convergent’s commercial and industrial segments, with US companies that commonly pay time-of-use and peak demand charges relying on energy storage to bring down their energy bills by a significant proportion.

Convergent Energy + Power CEO Johannes Ritterhausen said the “partnership with Statoil represents the continuing expansion of our energy storage offerings” and the involvement of “one of the largest energy companies in the world” would help the developer “to provide compelling solutions for both utilities and large end-users of electricity”.

“Ultimately, the success of this emerging sector will depend on our collective efforts to define, deliver, and monetise the value energy storage creates. Working with Statoil enhances our ability to execute on existing projects, as well as reach new customers,” Ritterhausen said.

Statoil VP Gareth Burns, who is also managing director of Statoil Energy Ventures, said the investment follows a long tradition of innovation at the company.

“…we see energy storage as an integral part of our ambition as our clean energy business continues to grow,” said Burns, describing Convergent as a “natural addition” to the Statoil portfolio.  

Recent wins for Convergent Power + Energy in their utility-scale business meanwhile include the close of third-party financing on 12MW of projects in Ontario, Canada and a 10MW / 40MWh project in California for utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Johannes Ritterhausen claimed the company has 70MW and US$200 million-worth of energy storage projects under contract.