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Younicos bought out for US$50 million

Sign that greets visitors to Younicos' German offices. Image: Younicos.

Energy storage provider and system integrator Younicos has been bought out by Aggreko, a power generation equipment and energy controls supplier.

Younicos, widely considered one of the ‘pioneers’ of advanced battery energy storage, with head offices in Germany and in the US, has executed some 40 projects to date across four continents, totalling more than 200MW of flexible resources deployed. This includes Europe’s “first commercial battery park” for utility WEMAG in Germany and a forthcoming 49MW project for Centrica in Britain.

The company delivers turnkey systems as well as software and system integration solutions. It recently also launched Y.Cube, its own branded energy storage hardware for the commercial and industrial (C&I) markets.

Aggreko, headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, has agreed to acquire the energy storage company for £40 million (US$51.74 million). Aggreko said it wanted to invest in technology that could reduce the cost of energy for its customers and saw Younicos as a perfect fit. Aggreko chief exec, Chris Weston, to whom Younicos CEO Stephen L Prince will directly report, also said it was part of the wave of modernisation of energy to lean more heavily on diverse energy resources and solutions.

Meeting the aims of the ''3Ds'

“As energy markets continue to decarbonise, decentralise and become more digital, the integration and control of multiple energy sources, including thermal and renewable, will be essential to ensure the provision of reliable power,” Weston said, referring to the “3Ds of the energy transition” which Prince blogged about for Energy-Storage.News earlier this year.

“As a pioneer of smart energy solutions based on battery storage, Younicos is at the forefront of this trend. Together we are a powerful combination; our scale, fleet and global presence, coupled with a smart energy capability, will allow us to open up new markets and provide our customers around the world with a reliable, cheaper and cleaner source of energy.”

Aggreko appears to want to be active in the full range of markets Younicos plays in - both on and off-grid, integrating more renewables through reducing intermittency and executing value propositions for C&I customers.

Younicos’ new owner is prepared to be patient and see the acquisition as a long-term cash investment, Aggreko said, with the storage company expected to remain loss-making in the short-term. In 2016 Younicos had revenues of £7 million and an operating loss of £15 million. However in late 2015, the company received US$50 million from investors including utility-scale thin-film solar PV leaders First Solar.

“We are delighted to be joining with a market leading power provider in Aggreko. Batteries are an economically attractive and reliable asset which will play an increasing role as we transition from today’s energy market to the energy market of the future,” Younicos chief Stephen L Prince said.

“Integration and management of multiple distributed energy sources will be necessary to optimise energy systems and deliver customers with greater stability at a lower economic and environmental cost.”

Younicos' YCube C&I energy storage product. Image: Younicos