Goldman Sachs, Cleanhill Partners buy majority stake in PCS maker EPC Power

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Investment firms Goldman Sachs and Cleanhill Partners have swooped to acquire a majority stake in EPC Power, a US manufacturer of power conversion systems (PCS).

San Diego, California-headquartered EPC Power produces inverters and full PCS kit for utility-scale energy storage and solar-plus-storage applications as well as for data centre backup UPS systems.

To date the company has sold more than 2GW of its smart inverters worldwide, operating a factory in San Diego County, with another planned to open on the US East Coast towards the end of this year. It also has an office in Helsinki, Finland, from which it conducts European sales and engineering operations.

Its equipment can be paired with different energy storage technologies, including electrochemical, like batteries, and mechanical, like flywheels. Its utility-scale storage solutions include 1500V products and its power inverters are all certified to applicable North American standards, well as to grid codes and standards for Australia and Europe.

In March EPC Power was selected as the PCS supplier for EVLO, an energy storage system integrator and manufacturer launched by Canadian state-owned power company Hydro Quebec. Also that month, it was revealed the company’s advanced inverters are being used in a so-called ‘grid-forming’ battery energy storage system (BESS) project in Australia, by Fluence.

Earlier this year in July, Dynapower, another PCS manufacturer for the energy storage space based in the US, was acquired by industrial sensor company Sensata in a deal worth US$580 million.

It was bought from private equity group Pflingstein Partners and Sensata said it expected to earn about US$1 billion in revenues by 2026 from integrating Dynapower’s offerings into its own electrification division.

The acquisition of the majority stake in EPC Power, under undisclosed financial terms, comes quickly on the heels of the US Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) passing and with it a recognition that the energy storage market in the country is poised for even more rapid growth.

EPC Power claims to be the US’ only end-to-end PCS solutions provider. As such, it is well positioned to benefit from the IRA’s demand-side incentives for energy storage, particularly the introduction of an investment tax credit (ITC) for standalone energy storage systems, the company said.

Market research company Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables has said that the ITC can be a major driver in propelling the US energy storage market to a level of more than 50GWh of annual installations in 2026. As reported today by Energy-Storage.news, Wood Mackenzie is forecasting about 13.5GWh of deployments this year.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management managing director Alexander Mass said EPC Power is “uniquely positioned to play a critical role in the evolution of the US solar and energy storage value chains and is now well capitalised to continue its trajectory of rapid growth”.

“As the only scaled supplier of smart inverters that are designed, engineered and 100% manufactured in the US, EPC Power is a natural continuation of our thematic investment activity in this space, in partnership with Cleanhill Partners and EPC management,” Mass said.

Meanwhile private equity firm Cleanhill’s Rakesh Wilson and Ash Upadhyaya, both managing partners, said that EPC Power “stands out for its industry-leading technology,” noting that Cleanhill first invested in the PCS company in 2021. Goldman Sachs was also an existing investor in the company.

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