By Jason Deign
British residential energy storage aggregator Moixa Energy is involved in a GBP£10m funding round that “may close very shortly,” according to Simon Daniel, CEO.
The money will go into expanding the company’s technology platform, GridShare, and tapping into new markets, including central Europe, he said.
Afterwards the company is also looking to carry out an extended round of financing into the early part of 2018, he told Energy Storage Report.
“Rational partners are strategic corporate investors in the utility or related landscape,” he said. “The challenge for us in the UK is we work with half the utilities.
“Whilst local utilities could be investors, we prefer them to be partners given [that] utilities are quite competitive and don’t tend to work companies that have investment from their competitors.”
Moixa seeks international investors
As a result, Moixa is particularly keen on attracting international investors, Daniel said. In April, the company secured a £500,000 equity investment from Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
“Having previously worked with TEPCO, I am particularly pleased to be able to partner with this leading Japanese corporate to bring the Moixa technology to new markets,” said Moixa chairman David Thomlinson in a press release.
The backing “gives us a view of the Japanese market,” said Daniel.
For now, though, the UK remains a “perfect test bed” for Moixa’s technology, he said, because it is a large island. “What works in the UK works in Japan and works in Chicago,” he commented.
Moixa aims to show how GridShare can form virtual power plants not just from Moixa’s own residential battery systems but also from third-party batteries, electric vehicles and other storage assets.
Expanding its platform
The company has been given £267,750 by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to expand its platform so it can manage a wider range of devices, Moixa said this week.
“GridShare aggregates the capacity of multiple distributed batteries to create a virtual power plant, which can deliver services on demand to the National Grid, local electricity networks and utilities,” it said.
“This helps reduce the costs of delivering electricity and enables greater adoption of renewables and electric vehicles.”
Moixa’s technology is particularly suited to microgrid and island grid environments, said Daniel.
In March, the company announced it would be putting GridShare to the test in a £10.8m project on the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago with 2,200 inhabitants off the Southwest tip of the UK.
Cutting electricity bills
The Smart Energy Islands project, which has £8.6m from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, is part of a wider programme to cut island electricity bills by 40% and get 40% of energy through renewables by 2025.
A combination of high fuel costs and large numbers of homes with inefficient heating systems means Scillonians have one of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the UK, affecting 22% of households, Moixa said.
The company eventually wants to prove that the kinds of smart energy management that might improve efficiency and save costs on the Scilly Isles could be scaled up to a nation the size of Britain.
“The UK is physically as well as politically disconnecting itself from Europe,” said Daniel. “We’ve only got 4GW of interconnect and we’re heading to 25GW of renewable energy here. Therefore, you’ve got to use it all locally.”
Moixa is focusing on the residential market because scaling up utility or commercial and industrial energy storage concepts is very dependent on local electricity regulations, he said.
Managing tens of millions of batteries
In contrast, he said, “behind-the-meter domestic, if you do it at the right size, is like a Dell computer. It looks the same around the world. The algorithms for our battery could manage tens of millions of batteries other people make.”
This time last year, Moixa was aiming to scale up from 650 installations to 1m by 2020, with a battery system costing around £2,000 for 2kWh of storage or £2,500 for 3kWh.
The company has since focused on integrating third-party storage assets into GridShare, as well as commercialising a solar-plus-storage package for £4,995.
“We still have the aim to be managing millions of batteries by the early 2020s,” Daniel said. “There’s a mixture in there, in terms of batteries we need to make and sell versus batteries we manage for a third party.”
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