Q Cells to acquire energy software startup Geli, expanding its storage capabilities to go after C&I markets


Q Cells, headquartered in South Korea and Germany and one of the world’s larger solar cell and module makers, just acquired San Francisco-based energy storage software company, Growing Energy Labs, Inc. (Geli), one of the last surviving stand-alone energy storage software companies,

The acquisition is Q Cells’ first energy storage acquisition and marks its move into the U.S. commercial and industrial (C&I) solar-plus-storage market. The company already has a small foothold in Europe’s and Australia’s residential markets.

No purchase price was disclosed. Geli has raised nearly $30 million from investors including Ajax Strategies, Shell Ventures and Southern Cross Venture Partners since its founding ten years ago. Geli has offices in California and Australia.

Q-Cells AG was founded in 1999 in Germany. The company filed for insolvency and was acquired by Korea’s Hanwha Group in 2012. Production in Germany was ceased in 2015 and a manufacturing facility was opened in South Korea.

The South Korean company is a core supplier of solar modules in the U.S. C&I market, with a 26% market share, according to Wood Mackenzie.

Geli’s “end-to-end software platform streamlines the energy storage development process, offering the industry’s leading solution for design, automation, and management of Battery Energy Storage Systems.”

Geli was founded by Ryan Wartena and Crispell Wagner and its software manages megawatts of energy storage projects deployed around the world.

Dan Finn-Foley, the chief energy storage analyst at WoodMac, notes that this “acquisition by a solar OEM is yet another sign that solar and storage will be forever linked,” adding, “With Geli’s acquisition there aren’t many software providers left who haven’t been acquired after the 2017 feeding frenzy when Demand Energy, Greensmith, Younicos, etc. all got snapped up.”

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