A subsidiary of global energy company Total has acquired Go Electric, marking the latest assimilation of a small US based microgrid company by a large energy player in the fast growing space.
The company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Saft, a multinational battery energy storage company owned by Total.
Saft will acquire all privately held Go Electric’s shares at an undisclosed price.
Go Electric will become Saft’s Microgrid Center of Excellence, according to Lisa Laughner, co-founder and CEO of Go Electric.
“Saft, with the support of Total Group, has a real and clear strategy to develop in the field of renewable and distributed energy,” Laughner said in an interview with Microgrid Knowledge. “This alliance can allow Go Electric to accelerate its growth beyond North America and benefit from Saft’s expertise in other countries, grid codes and market knowledge. It allows Go Electric to secure customers contracts while merging with a solid partner dedicated to energy management.”
In recent years other notable acquisitions of small microgrid and distributed energy firms by large players have included IPERC by S&C Electric; Powersecure by Southern Company; Demand Energy by Enel; GI Energy by Shell New Energies and Green Charge Networks by Engie.
Expands Go Electric beyond North America
The acquisition expands Go Electric’s presence beyond North America and enhances its brand recognition, according to Laughner. The company has customers across the US and Canada in military, commercial-industrial and utility markets and has delivered distributed energy systems from 50 kW to 1000 kW and has control of microgrids as large as 3 MW. Headquartered in Anderson, Indiana, Go Electric has offices in Brooklyn, New York and Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Saft and Go Electric executives began discussing the possibility of an acquisition last summer, Laughner said.
The deal expands Saft’s “scope of expertise from battery design and manufacture to the deployment of integrated, turnkey distributed renewable energy storage solutions that connect customer sites to the grid,” said Philippe Sauquet, president of Gas, Renewables & Power at French multinational energy Total, which acquired Saft in the middle of 2016.
The acquisition of Go Electric also expands and strengthens Saft’s presence and technology, systems and project development in North America, said Hervé Amossé, Saft executive vice president Transportation, Telecom and Grid.
“The current evolution in customer requirements is bringing energy storage into a new area of competitiveness and performance. With this Go Electric acquisition, we are expanding our technology portfolio for distributed renewable solutions and reinforcing our footprint in North America,” he said.
Saft and Go Electric projects
Saft’s history in battery energy storage systems goes back 100 years. It has designed and built microgrids in some of the harshest and most demanding environments in the world, including the Arctic Circle and the Sahara. Saft technology is being used at industrial sites and as part of smart city projects, as well as in shipping and aviation, according to the company.
Management in June announced the installation of an energy storage system in the off-grid Alaskan city of Cordova. Saft’s 1 MW-1MWh energy storage system, which includes an ABB power converter and control system, is being integrated in the Cordova Electric Cooperative’s microgrid in order to enhance output, reliability, resiliency and security of a run-of-river hydro capacity and power distribution. The microgrid also is designed to curb use of diesel gensets, according to the company
One of Go Electric’s noteworthy microgrid projects is at Parker Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in Hawaii. Last October chose Go Electric to design and deploy a 400 kW microgrid to that cattle never go thirsty due to outages that had plagued the ranch for years. Comprising 250 kW of battery energy storage, 225 kW of solar PV generation built by Rising Sun Solar and a backup diesel generator, was being designed to enhance energy resiliency at a neighboring business park and provide grid services to HECO, as well as ensure Parker Ranch’s herd of some 26,000 head of cattle are well watered.
Go Electric also is one of the pioneers in mobile microgrids. The US Army Corps of Engineers Construction Energy Research Lab in November 2017 awarded Go Electric a contract to develop a “portable, modular, self-forming microgrid solution for use in harsh mobile applications.” The system, which marked Go Electric’s fourth with the U.S. military, is designed to provide supply-side energy management by integrating multiple energy sources.
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