Sonnen secures $70 million from Shell for US, Aus expansion

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In its latest financing round, sonnen has secured €60 million ($70 million) of capital from a group of investors led by Shell Ventures. The British-Dutch oil company is now an active stakeholder in sonnen, as was announced on Wednesday. All previously existing investors contributed to the round.

According to sonnen, the capital is earmarked to pursue plans to expand in the United States and Australian markets.

Sonnen has indicated that it has also signed an agreement regarding future cooperation with the renewable energy section of Shell Ventures. The two companies say that they aim to identify and exploit synergies.

In an interview with pv magazine, sonnen’s Chief Global Sales & Marketing Officer Philipp Schröder said that the two companies will integrate Shell Ventures’ EV-charging solution into sonnen’s virtual power plant (VPP). This is despite sonnen having already developed and launched its own EV charging solution. Schröder notes that the sonnen VPP solution was intentionally designed to be technologically agnostic.

The second important aspect of sonnen’s cooperation with Shell Venture is the latter company’s solid global footing. Leveraging this, sonnen seeks to expand its market share in the regions in which it is already active. These include the United States and Australia, in which sonnen launched its sonnenCommunity last year.

The precise distribution among the different investors was not disclosed. However, upon request sonnen confirmed that Shell Ventures provided the largest portion of capital under the investment round. Schröder says that it is also an important signal that all previously existing investors, such as GE Ventures, Envision and E-Capital contributed to the round.

Aside from the sonnenCommunity, the German Company has launched several pilot projects in cooperation with transmission and distribution grid operators. The projects are setting up trials for the provision of grid services through aggregating distributed PV-hybrid systems. sonnen reports that it is particularly focused on the provision of grid services, along with the VPP.

In recent years, sonnen has secured roughly $210 million in capital across several funding rounds.

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