Sunverge picks up $36.5m investment, ARENA participates as backer

Sunverge, a developer of energy storage systems for distributed markets such as rooftop solar, has secured Series C funding to the value of $36.5 million, with the Australain Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) one of the key backers.

Joining Australia’s largest publicly traded energy retailer AGL Energy, ARENA lends an antipodean air to the group of investors backing Sunverge’s growth plans. The other investors are Siemens Venture Capital; Total Energy Ventures International, and SBCVC.

For AGL, the financial backing offered to Sunverge builds on a separate, commercial agreement whereby AGL is the exclusive channel partner for the sale of Sunverge’s intelligent energy storage systems in Australia. ARENA’s support merely adds further credence to Sunverge’s technology, and serves to strengthen Australia’s growing solar+storage sector, which is already one of the largest in the world.

"Our partnership will allow us to better meet the needs of our customers in a carbon-constrained energy future, which is increasingly based on decentralized products and services, including digital metering, solar PV systems, as well as new technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles and other ‘beyond the meter’ energy solutions," said AGL MD and CEO Andy Vesey.

The CEO added that Sunverge’s technology is ideal for demand response and other applications, and is thus perfectly suited to meeting the needs of a typical Australian consumer.

The Sunverge Solar Integrated System (SIS), released this summer, is – the company claims – a streamlined upgrade of its typical storage systems, with more battery options that enable homeowners and utilities to automatically execute demand response programs, link to "virtual power plants" or simply self-consume.

This automatic and efficient approach to intelligent storage cuts across the perceived cost constraints and shortcomings of typical storage solutions, Sunverge adds, and with the latest round of financing the California-based company is hoping to accelerate its expansion into the Australian market and farther afield.