ROUNDUP: Generac ‘whole home solution’, UK heat battery investment, SER acquires Microgrid Networks

By Andy Colthorpe, Alice Grundy
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Heat battery maker Sunamp partnered with solar panel supplier Eco2Solar on a pilot project to create ‘homes of the future’ in Bishopton, Scotland, last year. Image: Sunamp / Eco2Solar.

11 August 2020: Generac launches ‘whole home experience from battery storage systems’

US standby generator manufacturer Generac Power Systems is targeting a “gap in the market” for providing solar backup to homes.

The company launched its own range of battery energy storage at the beginning of the year and while reporting its quarterly financial results for the second quarter of 2020 a few days ago emphasised the growing importance of the market to its overall business.

Yesterday, Generac said in a press release that it is launching batteries in its PWRcell home storage range with up to 18kWh capacity, outdoor rated enclosures for the PWRcell and an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) for the systems. The ATS offers integrated load management, enabling customers to back up whole home loads through their electrical panel, rather than backing up pre-selecting loads in case of outages.

“Delivering a whole-home experience from battery storage systems is currently a gap in the industry overall. The keys to achieving this are high-output power, large battery capacity and intelligent load management. PWRcell is the first to deliver this to homeowners and contractors,” Generac president and CEO Aaron Jagdfeld said.

While Generac may be the first to offer an integrated solution from one provider, others are also beginning to target the potential market for whole home backup through partnerships: LG Chem recently launched a scalable solution that it said can provide full home backup, through pairing with SolarEdge’s inverters and energy management capabilities.

11 August 2020: Home thermal storage provider Sunamp raises investment to fund overseas expansion

UK-headquartered ‘heat battery’ manufacturer Sunamp has raised £4.5 million (US$5.9 million) in Series A funding to help support its international expansion.

Its batteries store energy from renewable and non-renewable sources, releasing it on demand to provide hot water and what it describes as ultra-responsive central heating. The batteries use a special phase change material that stores heat, developed in partnership with academics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Sunamp has lauded its ability to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions by allowing more renewable energy to be used both behind-the-meter and in the electricity grid by helping to absorb peaks of renewable generation, deal with intermittency and reduce curtailment.

The investment round was led by a £3.2 million investment by Chilean venture capital firm Aurus Capital, with Scottish Investment Bank and existing private investors key participants in the round, according to Sunamp.

The funding will support its commercial scaling in the UK as well as international expansion in Central Europe, Asia and North America.

Watch Energy-Storage.news special video feature on Sunamp’s technology, made at the company’s offices and R&D centre back in 2016.

This story by Alice Grundy. To read the full version of this story visit Solar Power Portal

11 August 2020: Sustainable-investment firm SER Capital Partners makes acquisition to target New York and other urban areas

‘Sustainable-investment focused private equity firm’ SER Capital Partners said its acquisition of developer MicroGrid Networks will position the company to target opportunities to deploy solar and energy storage in “high demand congested urban areas, such as New York City”.

MicroGrid Networks develops, finances and operates renewable energy facilities that operate as advanced energy networks, specifically targeting projects in “dense urban coastal communities”. According to the company’s website, it sees fuel cells, solar energy and energy storage systems as a viable alternative to traditional power systems that can be both competitive and resilient as well as environmentally preferable.

“We are grateful to partner with the talented team leading Microgrid Networks to invest in New York City,” SER partner Sara Graziano, who is also a board member at MicroGrid Networks, said.

“Pairing our deep experience optimising battery and electricity storage with Microgrid Networks’s local expertise creates a rare opportunity to economically and sustainably deliver reliable, resilient energy solutions while offering significant benefits in New York”. 

SER managing partner and founder Rahul Advani said that his firm saw “Microgrid Networks’ unique siting technology, skillset, and assets as increasingly essential for local reliability and resiliency”. 

“By installing, owning, and operating a portfolio of storage assets, we also help New York achieve its goals to integrate additional renewables, offset regionwide fossil-fueled pollutants, and provide economic benefits and jobs to the region,” Advani said. 

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