The readily available electricity in our homes and offices is something many of us take for granted. But many parts of the world do not have access to safe and reliable energy. Caterpillar Ventures is helping to make sustainable energy available to these rural and remote areas through a unique investment in microgrid technology.

Today, Caterpillar Ventures is announcing an equity investment in Powerhive, a technology venture founded in 2011 that partners with utilities and independent power producers to provide access to productive, affordable and reliable microgrid electricity for millions of rural homes and businesses around the globe. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Powerhive offers a proprietary technology platform and business model that enables the financing, monetization and management of microgrid power, which brings clean energy to rural areas without access to typical power providers.

Powerhive’s solutions and technology have the potential to complement our broad portfolio of microgrid solutions and services, including generator sets, energy storage and photovoltaic (PV) panels. Cat® batteries come from our recent investment in Fluidic Energy, and the Cat PV panels come from the First Solar alliance. The investment with Powerhive will further our efforts to adopt, develop and integrate sustainable, innovative and reliable solutions to customers worldwide.

“This investment complements our existing portfolio and allows us to offer integrated microgrid solutions to meet our global customers’ needs no matter where they are in the world,” said Electric Power Division Vice President Steve Niehaus. “We’re building a better future for Caterpillar, our customers and the communities where they work and live by providing sustainable, reliable and cost-effective energy.”

Powerhive’s proprietary technology has enabled them to be an early mover in the effort to provide rural electrification through microgrid electricity. They are the first private utility in Kenya to be licensed to sell electricity to the public.

“We know leveraging external know-how and resources by collaborating with a variety of external companies is key to driving innovation and improving our overall customer experience,” said Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer George Taylor, who has responsibility for Caterpillar Ventures. This is a great example of how we move further and faster by working with companies like Powerhive, to fully develop a portfolio our customers want and need.”

Click here to see how our collaboration with Powerhive allows us to stay on the forefront of technology and remain competitive for our customers.

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