Macquarie, Siemens units create U.S. distributed energy joint venture

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Units of Macquarie Group MQG.AX and Siemens AG SIEGn.DE are forming a venture named Calibrant Energy, that will invest in the emerging energy-as-a-service (EaaS) sector in the United States, according to a joint statement on Monday.

Electricity generation is forecast to increasingly move away from traditional structures involving large fossil fuel-burning power plants, towards localized systems using renewable energy and battery storage, known as distributed energy.

For entities embracing this model, they can choose to ‘outsource’ their power systems to a specialist entity, in the same way firms hire technology platforms rather than develop their own systems - so-called software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Set up by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, and Siemens’ Smart Infrastructure and Financial Services units, Calibrant Energy will build the energy infrastructure at no up-front cost and then manage it for customers including companies, municipalities and hospitals, the statement said.

Calibrant aims to utilize Macquarie’s capital and Siemens’ technology, as it competes to grow in the space. According to a June forecast from consultancy Wood Mackenzie, around $110 billion of investment could be made in distributed energy in the period 2020-2025.

Other professional investment firms are also seeking to tap into distributed energy. Last month, Blackstone Group BX.N launched its own platform. Carlyle Group CG.O and BlackRock Inc BLK.N have such joint ventures with Schneider Electric SCHN.PA and General Electric GE.N respectively.

Reporting by David French in New York; Editing by Diane Craft