Energy funding: Voltus raises $25 million for demand response and DERs, plus VC for new solar silicon production


The energy transition is going to need flexible loads, efficient customer premises and cheaper solar. Here are how some entrepreneurs and investors think we’ll get there.

$25 million for Voltus, a distributed energy resources platform

Voltus, a distributed energy resources (DER) platform, raised $25 million in a Series B financing led by NGP Energy Technology Partners along with existing investors Prelude Ventures and Ajax Strategies.

According to the company, since 2016, Voltus has entered every North American market and become the first aggregator of retail customers in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), in addition to being the first to offer capacity, ancillary services, and energy DER products in these same markets. In total, Voltus has secured over 2,000 megawatts of DERs, making it the fastest-growing provider of such services in industry history.

In January, Voltus won the right to deliver nearly 50 megawatts of new demand response resources to the California Independent System Operator under its demand response auction mechanism (DRAM) in the Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison regions, making Voltus the largest winner in the auction.

Tim Woodward, managing director of Prelude Ventures and Voltus board member, said in a release, “The Voltus platform connects every type of DER, from energy storage to demand response to distributed generation, in every market . . . today.”

Voltus raised $10.1 million from Prelude and Energy Innovation in 2017.

Solar startup wins $7.6 million for ribbon silicon furnaces

Leading Edge Equipment Technologies, a startup making manufacturing equipment to produce kerfless, single-crystal silicon wafers for solar panels, just closed on a $7.6 million series A financing. The round was led by Prime Impact Fund, Clean Energy Ventures along with DSM Venturing. Previous investors in the startup include Applied Materials, Clean Energy Venture Group and David Buzby. Leading Edge Equipment Technologies falls in the kerfless solar wafer or direct solar wafer category. According to the company, its “drop-in” manufacturing technology reduces wafer costs by 50%, increases commercial solar panel power by up to 7%, and reduces manufacturing emissions by over 50%. It’s the emissions piece that might be winning over investors. More here.

$156 million for energy retrofits

Redaptive, a provider of energy efficiency retrofits for commercial and industrial sites, raised $156 million in a financing led by CarVal. Founded in 2013, Redaptive is an energy efficiency-as-a-service firm that performs retrofits and bills customers based on energy savings. Return investors include CBRE, Engie New Ventures, Evergy Ventures, and Linse Capital.

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