Electric Power Engineers Announces Investment from Lime Rock New Energy

Austin, TX – January 13, 2022 – Electric Power Engineers, LLC (“EPE”), a leading consulting engineering firm focused on the power, renewable energy, grid modernization, and energy storage industries, today announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in EPE by Lime Rock New Energy, growth equity investors for the energy transition.  As part of its investment in EPE, Lime Rock New Energy has also committed additional capital to accelerate EPE’s continued growth.

Based in Austin, EPE is squarely focused on the energy transition, providing a range of engineering services for power systems planning, design, grid integration, and regulatory compliance in the United States and international markets. Its experience and services cover the entire spectrum of generation, transmission, and distribution and are provided to renewable energy and storage developers, generation owners, transmission service providers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and independent system operators.  Founded in 1968, EPE has been led and majority owned by company president Hala N. Ballouz since 2007. Ms. Ballouz will continue to lead EPE and remain a significant minority owner of the company, along with her senior leadership team of Stephanie Badr, Hugo Mena, and Billy Yancey.

Ms. Ballouz said, “When we set EPE’s vision in 2015 on pioneering integrated T&D solutions, our focus became continuously innovating in consulting and software solutions to help our clients through the challenges of building the power grid of the future.  We are very excited with our choice of the Lime Rock New Energy team as our partner with their focus on the energy transition.  Together we intend to accelerate EPE’s growth, reach, and excellence to serve a growing need for expertise necessary to ensure that our power systems reliably and economically drive toward necessary decarbonization goals.”

Mark Lewis, Managing Director of Lime Rock New Energy, added, “We believe that Hala and her team have built a company that delivers high quality engineering skills and integrated consulting plus software solutions to help their clients solve the increasingly complex challenges of integrating more renewable energy and technologies on to the grid. We have been impressed by EPE’s fanatical focus on customers, its preeminent utility and developer customer base, and are looking forward to rolling up our sleeves to help the company execute its ambitious business plan, with a unified mission of accelerating and debottlenecking the energy transition today.”

Lime Rock New Energy closed its debut fund and associated vehicles at $375 million in November 2021.  For more information on Lime Rock New Energy, please see www.www.lrnewenergy.com.

For more information on EPE, please see www.epeconsulting.com.

 

Lime Rock New Energy Announces Final Close of Debut Fund

Westport, Conn., November 30, 2021 – Lime Rock New Energy, providers of private equity growth capital to entrepreneurs and companies delivering products and services in the clean energy transition, announces the final close of its debut fund and associated vehicles at approximately $375 million.  Lime Rock New Energy targets $30 million to $90 million investments in products and services business primarily in three sectors of the energy transition: renewable power, energy efficiency, and the electrification of transportation. The team is focused on investment opportunities in North America.

The debut Lime Rock New Energy fund had its first close in May 2020. It has completed two portfolio investments: Smart Wires, which provides innovative power flow control technology to utilities and grid operators worldwide; and Qmerit, which is simplifying the adoption of electrification products for residential and light commercial customers in North America.

The Lime Rock New Energy team is led by three managing directors—Mark Lewis, Mark McCall, and Alex Mishkin—and a director, Blair Barlow. The team also leverages the strength of its advisory board: Dr. Ernest Moniz, Dr. Arun Majumdar, Andrea Pinabell, and Dr. Steve Specker.  The New Energy team brings specialist new energy domain investing and operational expertise in combination with the 23-year growth equity energy investing history and platform of Lime Rock Management.

Mark McCall said, “We are extraordinarily grateful to both existing Lime Rock investors and the many new investors who have put their faith in us as we launched this effort to pioneer a focused, growth equity strategy in the energy transition.”

Mark Lewis added, “We continue to be excited by our strategy and the opportunities to partner with companies that are debottlenecking the energy transition today, with clear commercial value propositions to customers to deliver products and services cheaper, better, and faster.”

Alex Miskin added, “With our final close, we look forward to accelerating discussions with entrepreneurs and others in the new energy sector to be their investment partner as they seek capital and partnership to achieve their plans in fast-growing energy transition markets.”

For more information, please visit www.www.lrnewenergy.com.

Schneider Electric North America’s CEO & President Joins Qmerit’s Board of Directors to Help Drive Electrification Efforts

IRVINE, Calif., June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Annette Clayton, a proven business leader with vast experience in automotive, technology, energy, sustainability industries joins the board of directors of Qmerit, a leader in green energy transformation.

Business leaders all over the world are seeking to demonstrate commitments to renewable energy. Executives in the energy sector are uniquely positioned to spearhead this transition, bringing actionable operational perspectives to this effort. However, Annette Clayton stands out even in this group, combining a deep understanding of energy, supply chains and the automotive industry.

Clayton currently serves as the CEO and President of North America Operations for Schneider Electric. She drives business strategy in an operating region with 30,000 employees that generated over $8.8 billion in sales throughout 2020. In addition, Annette Clayton:

  • Led Schneider Electric’s multi-billion-dollar Global Supply Chain operation upon her arrival in 2011 through 2019, managing supply chains across 207 manufacturing factories and 98 distribution centers in 44 countries.
  • Transformed Dell’s fulfillment model and oversaw their manufacturing in the Americas as well as their order management and care operations on 20 sites in 16 countries.
  • Served in senior roles for the General Motors Corporation in a variety of production, engineering and management positions between 1983 and 2006.
  • Chairs the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and is on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers. Further, she serves on the boards of AlphaStruxure and Uplight, both of which aim to accelerate clean energy transformation.

As a change leader in renewable energy, she can advise on technology, operations, productivity and strategic partnerships.

“As more consumers and small businesses consider buying electric vehicles, Qmerit has the winning formula when it comes to understanding the infrastructure required to electrify them and to do so in a sustainable manner,” said Annette Clayton, CEO & President, Schneider Electric North America. “I’m eager to share my insights with the Qmerit team and CEO Tracy Price, as they work to deliver customer value while achieving their ambitions in a market that is poised for growth.”

Qmerit, as a leader in driving electrification efforts in residential and small business markets, is positioned to benefit from Clayton’s expertise. Moreover, her established business relationships with electrical manufacturers and energy leaders can lead to new developments in the EV transition market.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have Annette joining our board of directors.  Her pioneering ambition with the first electric car at GM is coming to fruition with Qmerit’s automotive customers and our ability to deliver our Charge@Home program at scale for electric vehicle owners in North America, as well as other electrification technologies to the markets we serve,” said Tracy K. Price, Founder & CEO, Qmerit.

About Qmerit
Qmerit, headquartered in Irvine, California, simplifies the adoption of electrification products for residential and small business markets. A leader in green energy transformation, the company provides value-driven services throughout the renewable energy equipment implementation lifecycle. This is delivered through Qmerit’s network of company-owned contractors, independent Certified Solutions Partners and Certified Installers, who are skilled in system implementation and integration as well as ongoing support and maintenance. Combining this nation-wide network of certified electrical contractors with the company’s purpose-built digital managed services platform and white-glove concierge services, Qmerit delivers customers an unmatched quality experience related to electric vehicle charging stations, battery storage systems, solar system integration and microgrid solutions. For more information on Qmerit, please visit: Qmerit.com.

World’s First Large-Scale Use of Power Flow Technology on Transmission Network Will Unlock 1.5GW of Electricity Capacity

10th May 2021 – National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) is using innovative and transformational technology to unlock 1.5GW of network capacity – enough renewable energy to power 1 million homes and supporting the UK’s net zero ambitions.

As power grids become more intelligent, digital and controllable, NGET is using SmartValveTM a cutting-edge modular power flow control technology, to drive this transition. With this work, NGET is leading the UK electricity sector and reinforcing its position as a global pioneer.

NGET is installing SmartValve on five circuits at three of its substation sites in the North of England, which makes 500MW of new network capacity available in each region. This technology will help to decarbonize the UK electricity grid by allowing greater volumes of renewable power to be efficiently transferred to customers.

As more renewable generation comes onto the network, depending on the weather, power flows change and circuits become unequally loaded, meaning some circuits reach maximum capacity while others are still well below their limits.

The sites, at Harker in Carlisle, Penwortham in Preston and Saltholme in Stockton-on-Tees near Middlesbrough, were identified as needing a solution to solve bottlenecks of renewable power. The state-of-the-art technology from US-based Smart Wires, intelligently and instantly routes power through the circuits which have available capacity, maximising use of the existing network.

Installing modular power flow controllers at these sites allows NGET to provide National Grid’s Electricity System Operator with the tools to quickly reduce the congestion that limits renewable generation, with minimal impact on communities and the environment, demonstrating NGET commitment to deliver clean and affordable energy for our customers.

Following these initial installations at the three sites, National Grid is looking to extend the capability at Harker and Penwortham in the Autumn. This could mean freeing up an additional 500MW of capacity, enough to power more than 300,000 homes.

David Wright, Chief Engineer for National Grid said: “Harnessing the potential of new innovative technologies to enhance benefits for customers and consumers is at the heart of everything we do. I’m proud to see NGET leading the way and pioneering transformational and innovative engineering to achieve wide-scale decarbonization and overcome bottlenecks that are preventing maximum use of our networks. I’m delighted to see Smart Wires intelligent technology installed on National Grid’s transmission network, making it a world’s first for large scale use – this will be key to unlocking extra capacity safely and quickly.”

Julian Leslie, Head of Networks at National Grid Electricity System Operator said: “Managing constraints on the transmission network is an important part of our work operating the electricity system so it’s great to see Smart Wires technology being utilized. Developments such as this, and the steps outlined in our 5-point congestion management plan, will reduce the impact of constraints, allowing us to harness the full potential of renewable generation and lower costs for the end consumer – all helping towards our ambition of being able to operate the system at zero carbon by 2025.”

Peter Wells, Smart Wires CEO said: “NGET has shown unparalleled global leadership in their whole-hearted embrace of innovative technology to enable rapid, affordable decarbonisation. With these projects, NGET have pioneered a new way to think about planning and operating the grid – leveraging flexible investments to deliver gigawatts of impact in incredibly short timeframes. Of the hundred utilities we work with around the globe, NGET are one of the most focused organisations when it comes to their commitment to deliver value for consumers. The team’s outstanding technical capability and collaborative approach was a critical enabler to the pace and scale of the impact these projects have achieved. Our vision at Smart Wires is a highly efficient grid that powers a cleaner planet, and we are so proud to stand alongside our NGET partners and celebrate this success.”

Simon Innis, Managing Director for Omexom UK added: “Omexom is delighted to have been selected to partner with both National Grid and Smart Wires to manage and install this innovative technology.  The strength of our team’s relationships was integral to ensure the success of the world’s first large scale implementation of power flow technology.”

Qmerit Accelerates Growth of its North American “Green Energy Transition” Platform

IRVINE, Calif. – November 12, 2020 – Qmerit is supercharging its innovative, industry-leading platform that connects EV buyers to its nationwide network of certified and vetted electrical contractors to ensure their EV charging and renewable energy systems are installed and maintained correctly – ensuring maximum ROI.

The electrification service market is $2.5B a year, and there is an acute shortage of qualified, licensed electricians resulting in inconsistent and unreliable service levels state to state. Qmerit simplifies finding properly trained and reliable electrical contractors with an easy to use platform that includes rigorous standards- ensuring every installation creates high satisfaction as evidenced by their industry leading Net Promoter Score of 89. Qmerit was built to solve the difficult problem of delivering exceptional installation and maintenance services nationally at scale using a distributed workforce.

Building on its existing nationwide contractor network in the U.S. and Canada, and deep relationships with fleet managers and leading electric vehicle and charging manufacturers, Qmerit simplifies the installation and integration of technologies for the clean energy transition—from electric vehicle charging hardware and energy storage to solar and microgrid integrations.

The company’s procurement platform for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies will be rebranded and will continue to provide solutions to facility managers and contractors that improve efficiencies and lower costs by streamlining and optimizing the way their employees purchase MRO materials and manage their contractor networks. Qmerit Inc. was formed in 2016 when founder and CEO Tracy K. Price saw the opportunity to expand the software platform beyond its prior functionality within a Fortune 500 company. Schneider Electric has been the company’s largest strategic investor and is the leading global provider of energy and automation solutions for efficiency and sustainability. Lime Rock New Energy, provider of growth equity and value-adding partnerships for new energy entrepreneurs, is leading the current investment in Qmerit’s spinoff.

Tracy Price, CEO of Qmerit, said, “The maturation of the electrification of transportation, homes and buildings at scale is finally at hand. Our patience and perseverance paid off and we are thankful for our relationships with our national network of expert electrification contractors as well as with our very important partnerships with global vehicle manufacturers, EVSE manufacturers and home-based fleet managers. We believe that the next decade will see the electrification of many aspects of our life, from transportation to resiliency. We are excited for the capital support to be able to build out our vision for taking the complexity out of delivering safe, reliable, and differentiated electrification services to our customers.”

Qmerit is already delivering solutions across the energy transition value chain: providing the customers of electric vehicle and EV charging equipment manufacturers with an exceptional customer experience; and Fortune 1000 @home fleet managers with a better way to coordinate national electrification of their assets; and end users with a simple process to get their EV charger, energy storage solution, or microgrid installed and maintained safely, professionally and at a competitive cost.

Mark McCall, a Managing Director of Lime Rock New Energy, said, “We are impressed by the national network, powerful and differentiated software platform, and deep EV industry partnerships that Tracy and the team have built to date. We believe that North American consumers, businesses and fleet owners, as well as the EV industry generally, are hungry for high-quality nationwide service solutions as the world electrifies its homes and vehicle fleets.”

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Innovation Officer of Schneider Electric, added, “We believe that the transition to decarbonized energy is happening now, and this new electric world requires new products and services. Through our position on the board of Qmerit, we expect to foster a close partnership with our operations. Qmerit is well placed to continue to build on its early leadership position and scale to meet the needs of customers across North America.”

About Qmerit
Qmerit, headquartered in Irvine, California, simplifies the adoption of electrification products for residential and small business markets. A leader in green energy transformation, the company provides value-driven services throughout the renewable energy equipment implementation lifecycle. This is delivered through Qmerit’s network of company owned contractors, value added resellers and independent certified service providers, skilled in system application and integration as well as ongoing maintenance. Combining this nation-wide network of certified electrical contractors with the company’s digital managed services platform and white-glove concierge services. Qmerit delivers customers an unmatched quality experience when installing electric vehicle charging stations and integrating to battery storage, solar systems and microgrid solutions. For more information on Qmerit, please visit: qmerit.com/ev.

Find more information on Schneider Electric at www.se.com.

Smart Wires Announces $75 Million Growth Equity Financing

UNION CITY, Calif.Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Smart Wires, a leading global provider of modular power flow control solutions to help electric utilities and grid operators solve their biggest challenges, today announces a $75 million growth equity financing led by Lime Rock New Energy.  Lime Rock New Energy financed the first tranche of the financing this week to provide growth capital to the company as it deploys its SmartValve™ solutions with customers on four continents in 2020. Smart Wires power flow control devices allow utilities to increase the efficiency and resilience of today’s power grid infrastructure. The technology’s modular nature means it’s quick to install and easy to move, thereby providing valuable flexibility.

This investment represents the first investment by Lime Rock New Energy, providers of growth capital to the new energy economy.  Lime Rock New Energy representatives will join the board of Smart Wires alongside representatives from the company’s existing primary investor, 3×5 Partners.

Gregg Rotenberg, CEO of Smart Wires, said, “We are gratified to be ending 2019 with strong momentum as we head into a transformative year in 2020.  Lime Rock New Energy’s growth financing, combined with our rapidly expanding customer base including our recently announced five-year framework agreement with National Grid Electricity Transmission sets a solid base as we continue deploying our industry-leading SmartValve™ technology across grids in the U.S., EuropeAustralia, and South America.”

Smart Wires power flow control technology enables utilities and grid operators to unlock large amounts of underutilized transmission capacity that exists on their systems today. This means they can reduce congestion to save customers money and more quickly connect new renewables and demand. Increasing the utilization of the existing grid is a more cost-effective and less disruptive way to deliver clean, renewable energy to end customers.

Tony Arnerich, Managing Director of 3×5 Partners, said, “We welcome Lime Rock New Energy to the Smart Wires board and team.  Their capital will accelerate our global sales efforts, and we look forward to partnering with them in our next phase of growth.”

Mark Lewis, a Managing Director of Lime Rock New Energy, added, “Our respect and admiration for the Smart Wires and 3×5 Partners teams is deep, and we are excited to be able to partner with them on the next phase of growth for Smart Wires.  We believe that the SmartValve™ technology will become an increasingly essential technology for grid operators worldwide as they address the opportunities and challenges of transforming the grid for ever increasing renewables penetration globally.”

Find more information on Smart Wires here at smartwires.com.

Find more information on 3×5 Partners see 3x5partners.com.

Find more information on Lime Rock New Energy at www.lrnewenergy.com.

SOURCE Smart Wires