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Canadian pension leads $8.4m energy storage investment

The Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada has also made up to C$200m available to develop NRStor’s project pipeline.

A union-backed pension fund led an C$11 million ($8.4 million; €7.9 million) equity investment in NRStor, a Toronto-based energy storage developer.

The Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada’s (LiUNA) investment in NRStor, which was joined by a commitment from the company’s co-founder, Annette Verschuren, is its first equity raise since receiving start-up capital in 2012. NRStor develops energy storage projects such as commercial and industrial battery applications and large-scale compressed air storage.

The C$5.7 billion pension sees large growth potential in Canada’s energy storage space, according to its vice president and regional manager for central and eastern Canada, Joe Mancinelli.

“LiUNA sees immense opportunity in finance energy storage infrastructure,” he said. “We believe energy storage is a key enabler of our future energy system, and we welcome the opportunity to invest capital into low carbon assets on behalf of our pension fund.”

Part of LiUNA’s deal with NRStor is a partnership agreement to give the energy storage developer access to C$200 million in additional capital support of its project pipeline.

Since first receiving seed capital five years ago from Northwater Capital, NRStor has secured multiple contracts with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator for utility-scale energy storage projects. The company has also worked with Canadian companies Hydrostor and Temporal Power to deploy energy storage projects.