Enel’s acquisitions strengthen its position in the energy services market

With its US$250m purchase of Enernoc, Italy utility Enel says it will provide an “unparalleled suite” of energy services to customers.
Published: Tue 15 Aug 2017

The Italian power giant is taking on US-based Enernoc as a subsidiary of its Enel Green Power North America unit after completing the purchase which was first announced in late June. Enel struck the deal to purchase all outstanding shares in the energy services and demand response provider for a common stock price of US$7.67 per share.

Enel will be incorporating Enernoc’s 8,000 customers and 14,000 sites which represent roughly 6GW of total demand response capacity spread throughout North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The transaction will make Enel one of the world’s largest suppliers of demand flexibility services.

Acquisitions to create grid flexibility

Enel’s investment is further proof that demand response will play an ever increasing role in grid flexibility as it evolves in the 21st century. Having the ability to better manage electricity consumption depending on the amount of demand at the time enables greater grid flexibility, stability and efficiency. In return, customers are happy as they can get paid for their participation, depending on the regulatory framework available. Software solutions like EnerNOC’s provide easy participation in demand response.

Francesco Venturini, head of global e-solutions at Enel, said the acquisition is viewed as a “milestone” for the company. He said in a statement: “With the close of this transaction we strengthen our position to leverage the technology and digital transformation that is taking place within the energy sector and open the door for the creation of new, innovative business opportunities that will meet and respond to the changing needs of our growing customer base.”

This acquisition comes six months after Enel’s purchase of Demand Energy, a US-based developer and operator of energy storage systems and software solutions.

Europe shows interest in US energy market

Europe-based energy companies are showing great interest and initiative when it comes to developing large renewable energy portfolios and acquiring startups to help them manage the decentralisation and decarbonisation of the grid.

In September last year, a subsidiary of French utility EDF acquired Groom Energy Solutions, a Massachusetts-based, full-service energy services company serving customers with large portfolios of buildings in the commercial and industrial space.

French utility Engie bought an 80% stake in California-based C&I storage specialist Green Charge Networks in May. Engie also bought energy services company OpTerra in February.

A subsidiary of UK-based Centrica bought circuit-level energy sensor company Panoramic Power in November 2015.