Leading Companies Partner with Broadscale Group to Scale Up Energy Innovations

September 24, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Broadscale Group, a new model of investment firm working with leading energy corporations to scale up the industry's most promising innovations, announced its formation today. The company has created a network of large power and utility companies -- including Duke Energy, General Electric, National Grid, and other members to be named shortly -- to invest in and help commercialize new technologies and services offered by growth-stage companies. Broadscale also has formed a strategic relationship with Pegasus Capital Advisors L.P., a leading private equity fund manager, to invest in deals that Broadscale identifies. Pegasus manages approximately $2.7 billion in assets, including a portfolio of energy and sustainable business investments.

Andrew L. Shapiro, Broadscale's founder, says his firm will address the market challenges that have made it difficult for many groundbreaking energy companies and products to achieve mainstream success. Significant capital requirements, complex regulations, and long adoption periods often prevent these companies from making it through the so-called "valley of death" and reaching commercial scale.

Broadscale will offer the most promising growth-stage companies streamlined access to strategic sources of capital, distribution, and demand. Large corporations, in turn, will gain access to well-screened investment opportunities and innovations that will allow them to improve efficiency, lower operating costs, and be more competitive.

"The key to unlocking progress in this area is combining the drive, creativity, and technical advances of the best entrepreneurial companies with the market knowledge and reach of our industry-leading network members," Shapiro said. "Capital is necessary, but not sufficient. New models of collaboration are needed to scale up breakthrough solutions. Broadscale will connect the right market participants, align their financial interests, and partner with them to turn innovation into impact."

"Technology is key to Duke Energy's mission of delivering affordable, reliable, and cleaner electricity," said James E. Rogers, Chairman and CEO of Duke Energy. "We believe this network approach can help us to cost-effectively identify and benefit from promising new energy solutions."

"National Grid is proud of a long history of bringing efficient and innovative solutions to our customers and communities. We are eager to work with Broadscale and the other partners to find new opportunities to bring next generation solutions to our markets and most importantly to our customers," said Tom King, CEO of National Grid USA.

"Pegasus is delighted to collaborate with Andrew Shapiro and Broadscale to invest in companies that can address our global resource challenges," said Craig Cogut, Founder and Managing Partner of Pegasus Capital Advisors.

"Edison Electric Institute (EEI) shares Broadscale's goal of fostering new collaborations in our industry that will accelerate the deployment of viable technologies," said Thomas Kuhn, President of EEI, the association of shareholder-owned electric companies.

"Achieving sustainable energy for all will require more private-sector leadership and creative collaborations such as Broadscale Group," said Chad Holliday, Co-Chair, UN Sustainable Energy for All, and former Chairman & CEO, DuPont. Shapiro is the founder and former CEO of GreenOrder, a strategy firm that has worked with more than 100 large enterprises on energy and environmental innovation since 2000. He has worked with GE's leadership since 2004 on its ecomagination initiative and with a number of the nation's largest utilities and industrial companies, real estate firms, and other energy-intensive businesses. Shapiro also founded GO Ventures, which has incubated and invested in cleantech start-ups, and co-founded the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance, a coalition of leading investors.

Ben Rogers, a veteran of the power and utility sector, is partnering with Shapiro to initiate and lead Broadscale's network in this area. Rogers has been an investor in start-ups in energy storage and efficiency, was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and held operating roles at Cinergy (now Duke Energy) and Enron.

Broadscale is also partnering on specific transactions with Daniel Gross, formerly a founding partner at Hudson Clean Energy Partners and principal investor at Goldman Sachs and GE Capital, and with Rosina Giuliante, a former investment professional at The Carlyle Group, GE Capital, and Goldman Sachs.

Broadscale is committed to accelerating innovation across the energy and resource industries in order to improve productivity and make cleaner solutions more cost-effective. After developing its power and utility network, Broadscale plans to build networks in related industries such as real estate and transportation.