British fossil fuel energy veterans invest in storage startup Moixa Technology

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The decentralization of the U.K.’s energy sector may be happening at something of a snail’s pace, but the news that three former fossil fuel bosses have each privately backed a disruptive storage startup certainly suggests that the trend towards distributed generation is growing.

Moixa Technology is a London-based company that develops briefcase-sized lithium-ion batteries for use in the home. The Financial Times (FT) has reported that three veterans of the energy industry have backed the startup with their own private money.

Ian Marchant, former chief executive of Big Six energy giant SSE, former Innogy CEO Brian Count, and ex-Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw have all separately invested in Moixa Technology as the startup aims to hit one million units sold by 2020.

"Having some Big Six CEOs who understand the sector is quite helpful," Moixa co-founder and chief executive Simon Daniel told the FT. Each Moixa battery, called the Maslow, retails from £2,200 ($2,918) and is a compact, wall-mountable product that can be connected to the grid and also made available as an aggregate resource for communities and network operators.

The units are offered in 2kWh, 3 kWh and 4-6kWh sizes, with the larger battery suitable for businesses and schools, Moixa says. Just 500 have been installed so far across the U.K., but the company hopes that sustained investment can help it expand rapidly – aided by a shifting landscape towards decentralization.

"I think the move from large, grid-connected power stations to the combination of small-scale residential solar and storage is the energy equivalent of the switch from big mainframe computers to WiFi and iPads," Daniel added.

According to Brian Count, who used to head up Innogy, cost-effective storage has always been the Holy Grail, with Moixa’s consumer-friendly storage solution seen as a potential breakthrough technology.