Energy trader Vitol leads US$100 million funding round for BESS system integrator FlexGen


US energy storage system integration services and software company FlexGen has raised US$100 million in a Series C funding round.

The company said yesterday that the investment will enable it to make progress on its pipeline of large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects for customers across multiple regions. A representative said it leaves FlexGen “well positioned to execute on its large pipeline”.

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The round was led by Netherlands-headquartered commodities and energy trading group Vitol which reported US$279 billion annual revenues in 2021 and trades around 7.6 billion barrels of crude oil and products daily. Vitol has also committed US$1.3 billion to global renewable energy projects.

“We will not reach our carbon reduction targets without energy storage, which addresses the intermittency of renewables generation and helps to create a more stable grid for the future,” Vitol’s head of renewables R. Andrew Pass said, describing FlexGen as “the leader in energy storage solutions”.

The energy trader will support international expansion for FlexGen through the Dutch company’s global footprint, Pass said, while Vitol will also provide energy storage optimisation services to FlexGen’s customers which include utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and cooperatives.  

Also joining the round were some of FlexGen’s existing investors.

It comes less than a year after a Series B funding round which raised US$150 million equity investment from alternative asset management group Apollo Global Management.

Incidentally, in 2021, Apollo-affiliated investors also bought a 50% stake in Broad Reach Power, a clean energy independent power producer (IPP) which is developing large-scale BESS projects in regions including Texas and California, where FlexGen is also active.

FlexGen to date has installed more than 3GWh of energy storage since its founding in 2009, when in its early years it was largely focused on microgrids in remote regions for customers including US military forces.

Today, its pivot towards grid-connected large-scale battery storage has led it to contracts for recent projects that include a 2.1GWh BESS portfolio for California investor-owned utility (IOU) Southern California Edison (SCE) and a deal to put 10 BESS assets totalling 40MW at substation sites for a group of North Carolina electric cooperatives.

The company has always emphasised that its technologies, including its Hybrid OS software controls platform are a key differentiator, having been developed over more than a decade. It has enabled diversification into developing digital twins for BESS project design evaluation and the launch of an integrated electric vehicle (EV) charger offering including battery storage and energy management system (EMS) equipment, for example.

The investment also follows the news just a few days ago that rival system integrator Powin Energy has raised US$135 million from its two existing shareholders and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

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