Distributed Storage Startup Closes $18M Round, With Arnold Schwarzenegger as Investor

Greentech media
July 14, 2015

By Stephen Lacey:  DBL Investors leads an $18 mil­lion series A round for Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions.  Before last Novem­ber, very few peo­ple had heard of Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions. But after win­ning a 50-​​megawatt con­tract to deliver stor­age ser­vices to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son, the startup is pulling in some well-​​known back­ers and tech­nol­ogy partners.

Three months after rais­ing $8.8 mil­lion, Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions (AMS) has now closed its series A round with a total raise of $18 mil­lion.

AMS is plan­ning to develop behind-​​the-​​meter stor­age sys­tems in com­mer­cial and indus­trial build­ings. But unlike most other dis­trib­uted stor­age devel­op­ers that are focused on cus­tomer con­trol, AMS is offer­ing util­i­ties full con­trol of the sys­tems for grid services.

The first deploy­ment, expected for 2016, will be a col­lec­tion of bat­ter­ies adding up to 10 megawatts of capac­ity. SCE will use the bat­ter­ies to help shift load dur­ing peak times or to pro­vide fre­quency reg­u­la­tion ser­vices. The sys­tem hosts will get com­pen­sated through reduc­tions in demand charges in the mid­dle of the day.

The round was led by DBL Investors, an in-​​demand ven­ture cap­i­tal firm that has made some of the most suc­cess­ful invest­ments in clean­tech and sustainability.

Nancy Pfund, the man­ag­ing part­ner at DBL, recently joined forces with Ira Ehren­preis, for­merly a gen­eral part­ner with Tech­nol­ogy Part­ners, to over­see a $400 mil­lion fund devoted to busi­nesses mak­ing a social or envi­ron­men­tal impact. Pfund and Ehren­preis were both early back­ers of Tesla.

In an email to GTM, Pfund called the invest­ment a “fit­ting sequel to our ear­lier invest­ments such as Pow­erlight, Tesla and SolarCity.”

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