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NineDot Secures Carlyle Investment for New York Battery Projects

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NineDot Secures Carlyle Investment for New York Battery Projects

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Rooftop solar pioneer David Arfin is developing a dozen basketball court-sized battery electric sites in New York City with recent investment from Carlyle Group Inc.

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Carlyle bought a stake in Mr. Arfin’s company, NineDot Energy, as it expands into the large-scale electricity storage market, an area of ​​growing interest to fund managers. The private equity giant spent more than $ 100 million in December on separate investments in NineDot and Fermata Energy, a technology provider for parked electric vehicles to pump energy from their batteries to local power grids.

The investments are notable as both companies are in their infancy. NineDot plans to complete its first battery installation in New York City in May, and although Fermata has relationships with automakers, relatively few vehicles are currently using its products.

NineDot projects are eligible for government grants and contribute to New York State’s plan to expand electricity storage so that it can reach a goal of 100% clean energy by 2040. Governments are increasingly focusing on batteries as the wind and sun that produce most renewables are intermittent. , leaving power grids vulnerable to shortages.

“Energy storage is extremely valuable to the grid of the future because of the reliability benefits it offers,” said Doreen Harris, president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “We know we need more storage than we have. “

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said this month the state will double its energy storage target for 2030 to 6,000 megawatts. The state has 130 megawatts of energy storage currently operational and 1,240 megawatts under contract, a spokesperson for NYSERDA said.

Mr. Arfin founded NineDot in 2015 after working at SolarCity Corp., where he developed the company’s popular leasing finance for rooftop solar panels. The startup has started to expand in New York because the city lacks space for power generation and developers are entitled to it.

NineDot purchases small lots of land in New York’s outer boroughs, then works with the local utility to connect site batteries to the grid and find local buildings or businesses to purchase electricity. He’s also working with Fermata on a project for the all-electric rideshare company Revel Transit that would allow its fleet to sell electricity to the local grid when not in use.

Fermata specializes in two-way charging technology for vehicles that allows their owners to use the electricity in the cars in their homes or sell it on to utility companies. Fermata works with Nissan Motor Co.

Ltd and Ford Motor Co.

and markets software for optimal management of the consumption and power supply of electric vehicles.

“The next phase of the energy transition is to integrate renewable energy and the impact it will have on the grid infrastructure,” said Pooja Goyal, investment director of Carlyle’s infrastructure group. The company favors projects in regions like New York, where governments have already implemented supportive policies, she said.

Carlyle has invested around $ 1.2 billion in renewable energy projects over the past two years, a spokesperson for the company said.

Money is a sticking point in climate change negotiations around the world. As economists warn that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will cost far more billions of billions than expected, the WSJ is examining how the funds could be spent and who would pay. Illustration: Preston Jessee / WSJ

Write to Matt Wirz at

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NineDot Secures Carlyle Investment for New York Battery Projects

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