Carlyle forms smart grid partnership to help deploy infra fund

The firm will provide equity to developers Dynamic Energy Networks and Schneider Electric for future investments through its $2.5bn Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, which recently held at first close on $600m.

The Carlyle Group has formed a strategic partnership with two smart grid developers to invest in “energy-as-a-service” systems for commercial and industrial buildings.

Dynamic Energy Networks and Schneider Electric have partnered with the private equity firm to push this strategy. Carlyle’s $2.5 billion Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund will provide equity for future investments in energy-efficient smart grids and distributed energy sources as part of this partnership, according to a statement.

“The energy industry has experienced a tremendous growth in awareness and usage of microgrids in just the last year alone,” said Andrew Marino, co-head of Carlyle Global Infrastructure.

“We can deploy solutions that leverage both world-class technology and new business models to transform the edge of the grid and optimise the energy value chain,” he added.

Carlyle is currently raising the Global Infrastructure Fund. The fund, which according to a source has held first close on $600 million, will have 70 percent of its equity invested in the US, with a focus on power and smart grid infrastructure. The Washington DC-based firm is expecting mid-teen returns for this fund

Smart grid infrastructure is an emerging sector that could grow into a $221 billion global industry by 2020, according to a Navigant Research Report.