North Sky invests $25m in storage-as-a-service developer

JLM Energy installs solar-powered battery systems for no upfront cost and is repaid through energy cost savings.

Clean energy investor North Sky Capital has backed a California-based energy storage developer with a $25 million investment that will help deploy solar-powered battery systems.

North Sky said its investment in JLM Energy will allow the battery developer to expand its solar-plus-storage business model. The company installs battery systems behind solar panels for commercial and industrial buildings.

North Sky’s commitment will pay for the installation of up to 35 systems, with financing repaid monthly, in part with energy cost savings. JLM’s battery storage product costs between $250,000 and $3 million.

Investors have long considered energy storage as key to fully integrating renewable energy in the electric grid, but high costs for the new technology have led to slow deployments.

North Sky, a private equity firm based in Minneapolis, invested through its $240 million clean energy fund, the North Sky Alliance Fund II. The vehicle closed in May and is targeting greenfield investments in solar, wind, hydro and energy storage projects. Investors include Taft Hartley pension plans, foundations and family offices.

North Sky launched in 2000 and has since committed more than $1.2 billion in capital across various funds.