En­vi­sion gives cash boost to Ger­man bat­tery maker

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By REUTERS in Frank­furt

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

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The stand of En­vi­sion En­ergy Ltd at a wind power expo in Bei­jing.

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