2030 Finance | July 24, 2018

Ontario pension backs smart energy storage company Stem

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 24 – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, a C$189.5 billion pension, is committing C$200 million ($152 million) in project financing to roll out smart energy storage systems across Ontario.

The pension is partnering with Stem, a California-based company that makes battery systems that use artificial intelligence to optimize energy consumption, particularly during peak demand.

Stem operates more than 850 energy storage systems for customers like the Intercontinental Hotels Group, Adobe, Mitsui, and the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. Earlier this year, the company developed a product specifically for the Ontario market, which charges energy customers for the cost of building, maintaining and delivering power, and for conservation initiatives.

Ontario Teachers’ C$200 million will enable Stem to build storage systems for large energy users, like industrial and manufacturing costs, and to offset their peak demand costs.

Ontario Teachers’ also backed Stem’s Series D funding round, which the firm just closed at $110 million. Stem held an $80 million first close for the round in January, which was led by Activate Capital and backed by Ontario Teachers’ and Singapore’s Temasek. BNP Paribas and Magnesium Capital led the second portion of the round.

Ontario Teachers’, which manages 80% of its investment portfolio in house, has backed other alternative energy and clean tech companies, like Calgary-based BlueEarth Renewables and Cubico Sustainable Investments. Unlike other global pensions, however, Ontario Teachers’ has so far resisted pressure to divest from fossil fuels.