Funding boost for UK second life battery startup

Funding boost for UK second life battery startup

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Connected Energy, based in Newcastle and Norfolk, provides second life battery technology from electric cars to create energy storage systems. These combine as many batteries as are needed for custom systems from 100kWh up to 15MWh.

This is based on Connected Energy’s E-STOR stationary energy storage technology that extends the life of electric vehicle batteries by 5-10 years. This is deployed whenever flexible, modular and short or longer-term electricity storage systems are needed.

Backers include existing investor ENGIE New Ventures, the corporate venture fund of French energy company ENGIE, Sumitomo and Macquarie as well as Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2. The backing is matched by R&D grant from Innovate UK as part of the ENGIE and UKRI Clean Growth Innovation Fund.

The aggregated second life battery systems can help stabilize the existing electricity grid or be used to build autonomous mini-grids. At construction sites, which require high levels of power for short periods, they compare favourably to generator systems whose use is limited by emissions restrictions and noise regulations.

“We almost double the working life of the batteries for vehicles and thereby greatly increase the value created from the resources already embedded in them. Our objective is to provide our end-customers with bankable energy storage systems and our battery supply partners with reliable routes to market for their second-life batteries,” said Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy. “With this additional investment we aim to capitalize on our system data to further optimize our technology and continue to scale up our development plans.”

“One of the energy sector’s biggest challenges is to be able to store large capacities of electricity as intermittent renewable energy generation becomes more widespread. Connected Energy offers ingenious solutions to answer this need while offering a second life to electric vehicle batteries. Its approach provides a strategic fit with ENGIE’s ambition to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world. Our investment in Connected Energy is a key example of developments in our distributed energy management business like Zero Emissions Services (ZES) in The Netherlands and other projects in Belgium,” underlines Johann Boukhors, Managing Director at ENGIE New Ventures.

“Investing in British innovators with solutions for the transition to a clean economy and achieving net zero by 2050 is of paramount importance as we aim to build back better from recent challenging times. It is great to see this first investment through the clean growth investor partnership come to fruition, and we are looking forward to this being the first of many investments that brings together SME innovations, private finance into those businesses, and government funding to enable de-risking of the technology with sustainable outcomes,” said Christian Inglis, Head of Urban Systems at Innovate UK.

Connected Energy currently has systems operating in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and is pursuing opportunities in other European countries as well as Japan and the US.

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