German smart battery maker raises €60m from Shell

May 24, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
German smart battery maker raises €60m from Shell
German residential smart energy storage developer Sonnen has raised €60m from Shell Ventures, the corporate investment arm of Royal Dutch Shell, and all its existing investors.

The funds will be used to accelerate growth in markets such as the United States and Australia. Alongside the investment, sonnen and Shell's New Energies division have agreed to collaborate in new integrated energy systems, charging systems for electric vehciles and the provision of grid services that are based on sonnen's virtual battery pool.

"Growing faster than the energy storage market and establishing new technologies such as energy sharing and our virtual battery pool requires continued investments. We're very happy to receive the backing of all our investors and the commitment of a major global player like Shell to follow our vision of clean and affordable energy for everyone," said Christoph Ostermann, CEO of sonnen.

Bavaria-based Sonnen raised $85m from investors including General Electric, last October.

"The great team at sonnen has succeeded in building a market-leading position in residential storage," said Brian Davis, VP Energy Solutions at Shell. "This investment enables us to combine Shell's power business activities with sonnen's high quality, innovative products and business model to enhance our consumer energy offerings. This is in line with our strategy to partner with leading companies to deliver more and cleaner energy solutions to our customers."

The sonnenBatteries in homes store energy from solar cells but can also become part of the virtually connected sonnenCommunity platform for sharing their self-produced energy with other members. The energy pool of the sonnenCommunity is carefully balanced to manage supply and demand, providing financial benefits such as annual amounts of free energy. Additionally sonnen can connect the storage systems of the sonnenCommunity, forming a large, virtual battery pool that offers grid services like balancing power or load shifting.

sonnen first launched the sonnenCommunity in 2016 in Germany. In 2017, sonnen introduced the strategy in Australia, followed by the first US-based sonnenCommunity in Jasper, Arizona, and supplies over 120,000 people globally with energy.

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