French hybrid energy storage solutions provider Electro Power Systems (EPS) has secured an equity-linked financing deal to the sum of €30 million (US$31.88 million) with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
It comes in the form of an unsecured five-year loan available to EPS' Italian subsidiary, EPS Italy, via three individual tranches of €10 million each. The transaction is expected to be closed by 5 June 2017.
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The financing was backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, and will go towards EPS' growth, continued research, development and innovation (RDI) activities and further commercialisation of the company’s hybrid-storage solutions and microgrids. Earlier this year, EPS successfully delivered a storage system to be connected to the Coober Pedy Renewable Hybrid Power Project microgrid in Southern Australia.
In addition, the funding will also go towards off-grid power generation solutions in emerging markets; where storage-solar hybrid systems are popular in remote and rural areas. Last year, EPS reported a €2.4 million (US$2.72 million) backlog of orders in the off-grid markets of East Africa, Asia-Pacific and Italy.
Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-president responsible for Italy and equity and equity-type products, commented: “This loan to EPS Italy allows to the EIB to broaden the range of financial instruments available to companies of any size in order to support their investment plans. In details, with this new quasi-equity financing for the first time applied in Italy, the bank of the European Union is able to take more risk for a more value added with medium-size and small corporates in the energy sector”.
Carlalberto Guglielminotti, Chief Executive Officer of the EPS Group, commented “The strength of our technology, based on a solid installed base with top-tier utilities and grid operators, and our position in the fast growing storage and microgrid markets, have enabled us to secure this long term EIB financing backed by EFSI, the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe”.
“This equity-linked facility strengthen our long term cash position and provide us with the flexibility to support both potential acquisition strategies and the organic growth of the business as we increase our momentum, particularly in the microgrid deployment in emerging economies and grid-scale storage systems in Europe”.