German battery storage supplier sonnen has received a €25 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
According to the EIB, the loan will part-finance the storage company’s €83 million 2019-2021 Investment Plan for research and development and digitalization. Part of sonnen’s European R&D aims is achieving ‘Industry 4.0’ transformation and developing equipment to deal with growing volumes and market activities.
In May, sonnen closed its last financing round with €60 million from a group of investors led by Shell Ventures. At the time, sonnen’s then chief global sales & marketing officer, Philipp Schröder, told pv magazine the two companies would integrate Shell Ventures’ EV-charging solution into sonnen’s virtual power plant (VPP), despite sonnen having already developed and launched an EV charging solution. The sonnen VPP was designed to be technologically agnostic, said Schröder.
The company says it aims to strengthen its presence in the U.S. and Australian markets and has already established a battery factory to meet the demand of the AU$100 million (€62.9 million) South Australia Home Battery Scheme. In November, the company opened in Australia with 50 employees. At full capacity, sonnen plans to fill 430 full-time vacancies in Adelaide.
Last month, sonnen announced it had received pre-qualification of its home battery systems to provide primary balancing power. The company is pre-qualified to deliver 1 MW across 30,000 systems installed in Germany, and aims to eventually hit 100 MW.
In an interview with pv magazine in December, sonnen CEO and founder Christoph Ostermann said: “We have decided from the very beginning to pursue an aggressive and international growth strategy. If one has plans like this, the question of whether one can finance such a project comes up. Obviously, we always could and can.”
This article was amended on 18.01.19 to stand corrected on the fact that the loan would also cover working capital and sales and marketing costs. According to the release by the EIB the loan covers only incremental working capital and sales and marketing costs.