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Equity investor Blackstone buys energy-as-a-service provider NRSTor C&I

Signage outside the NRStor offices in Canada, pictured in 2017. Image: NRStor via Twitter.

Blackstone Energy Partners, a private equity business belonging to investment firm Blackstone, has bought up NRStor C&I, a former subsidiary of Canadian energy storage developer NRStor.

Toronto-headquartered NRStor C&I claims to have projects in excess of 200MWh, including those in construction and contracted as well as already operational, using a scalable platform which it said it has leveraged to become a “pioneer in the rapidly growing battery energy storage market,” beginning with Ontario's booming C&I market and latterly expanding into the US.

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A big part in enabling its expansion prior to spinning off from NRStor was a big investment into the company by the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LiUNA) worth CA$200 million back in 2017 (around US$148 million at that time) for financing projects in the developer’s pipeline.

With the involvement of institutional investors a rare phenomenon back then, it was considered something of a game changer, although it could be argued that it remains a rare case of such an investment. NRSTor C&I provides energy-as-a-service to customers in North America based on a turnkey build, own, operate business model.

Former parent company NRStor’s CEO Annnette Verschuren congratulated Fengate Asset Management and Lake Bridge Capital, which had been managing the investment NRSTor C&I on the pension fund’s behalf. NRStor itself continues to develop projects, including a partnership in place to execute some 300MW of US and Canada projects with engineering solutions company Honeywell.

“We are extremely proud of the growth that NRStor C&I and its management team have achieved over LiUNA's strategic partnership and innovative investment in energy storage,” LiUNA international VP and regional manager for Central and Eastern Canada, Joseph Mancinelli, said.

Fengate’s managing director, head of private equity investments, Omar Khalifa, said his company believed “the strong team and platform combined with their new partner's scale and resources ideally positions NRStor C&I for the next stage of its evolution”.

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