From pv magazine Spain
RatedPower, the Spanish technology company that pioneered the development of software to optimize the development of solar plants, today announced the closing of a US$6 million financing round led by Seaya Ventures, the European venture capital fund and lead investor in unicorns such as Glovo, Wallbox and Cabify, and with the participation of U.S. investors.
The investment will be used to drive the company's international growth with a particular focus on the United States, accelerate the development of new products and functionalities, and “fulfill its mission to become the software and technology ecosystem for renewables,” the company explains.
RatedPower was founded in 2017 by Andrea Barber, Miguel Angel Torrero, and Juan Romero after identifying the need for a tool that would transform the design and configuration of solar plants into a more automatic, agile, and efficient process. By sweeping through millions of iterations, its pvDesign software finds the best plant configuration and generates, in a matter of seconds and automatically, more than 300 pages of detailed documentation.
Andrea Barber told pv magazine Spain that the company currently has customers on five continents using its software to simulate PV plants in almost every country in the world. “However,” she said, “the United States is the mecca of software as a service (SaaS). It is one of the world's leading countries in photovoltaics and is a market with enormous and relatively homogeneous potential, where corporations – even the most entrepreneurial ones – are less risk-averse and, therefore, it is easier for us technology startups to sell them our innovative products. We will also use the investment to consolidate growth in Europe, with Spain as a spearhead, as well as to strengthen our operations in Latin America and Asia-Pacific.”
The new version of pvDesign that RatedPower launched in June calculates the CAPEX and LCOE of PV projects “on the fly”. Responding to the question of whether the software is adapting to this new market price situation, Barber said, “The flexibility of the CAPEX and LCOE calculation tool allows our customers to define, in a completely customized way, the price databases to get a faster quotation for the construction of the photovoltaic plant. This allows the software to adapt like a glove to any changes in market costs and automatically apply them to their designs. This, together with the accuracy of the algorithmic model to obtain the estimated energy production of the plant, makes the software a solid tool for calculating the profitability of photovoltaic plants.”
Regarding the effect that the recent Royal-Decree Law 17/2021 on urgent measures to mitigate the escalation of energy prices could have on the development of new renewable projects in Spain, Barber says that “we still do not know to what extent RDL 17/2021 will impact on the cuts to the profits of electricity companies. But there is no doubt that the reduction in remuneration will have a retroactive effect on hundreds of renewable installations, and we are following it very closely with concern. However, competitive pressure in this sector is nothing new.”
He continued, “In this sense, deploying software along the entire solar value chain makes more sense than ever. There is still room to improve asset efficiency and profitability through automation and process improvement. Not only in design and engineering, but also in asset management, O&M, financial modeling, and warehousing, etc. These innovations are going to play a key role in reducing PV costs. As well as having a positive impact on people and industries.”
Carlos Fisch, Principal at Seaya, added, “We are delighted to invest in RatedPower, whose products and technology are accelerating the shift to make solar energy the leading and most competitive energy source on the market.”
The company states that “pvDesign has proven to improve the profitability of our customers' solar plants by producing 5% more energy compared to industry standards, reducing the number of hours spent by engineering teams by 85% and increasing asset profitability by 20%.”
In the last 12 months, RatedPower has attracted more than 1,300 users on pvDesign – a 150% increase in the use of the platform (already reaching more than 2,000 GW simulated in more than 150 countries worldwide), a record number of new clients with a portfolio that includes companies such as Iberdrola, Engie, BayWa, AES, Clenera, Sungrow, Burns & McDonnell, Celsia, Shell, Samsung, and National Grid Renewables.
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