Envision gives cash boost to German battery maker
A German battery maker that allows people to store and pool electricity said it had secured 76 million euros ($85 million) from venture capital investors, including Chinese wind turbine and energy management groupEnvision Energy Ltd.
The startup sonnen, formerly Sonnenbatterie, said on Sunday that it plans to use the money to expand in Italy, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Its technology allows renewable power to be stored and then used when weather conditions prevent sufficient generation.
Such storage is moving into a price range, which makes it more affordable for German householders, potentially challenging utilities such as RWE AG and Uniper SE.
Sonnen, with 250 staff members and sales of 26 million euros last year, said it had sold 15,000 of its lithium battery units.
It has also launched a scheme to connect households with solar panels on their roofs with other consumers in an online sharing platform which it aims to develop with the help of fresh equity.
This “community” has attracted 3,000 members within less than a year, making users relatively independent of conventional suppliers because they can provide each other with energy by exploiting weather patterns in different regions.
Envision EnergyChief Executive Lei Zhang said last month that he planned to spend around 1 billion euros on acquisitions and partnerships in northern Europe over the next three to five years, in order to tap growth opportunities in the region’s transition to green energy.
In the case of sonnen, its involvement would fit in with its smart grid management software that connects decentralized green power production units.
amount of money venture capital firms invested in sonnen
The stand of Envision Energy Ltd at a wind power expo in Beijing.