Startup Sunday: $13 million round for solar module-mounted storage

Diverging estimates of renewable energy installed

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In this week’s installment of Startup Sunday, we have three companies making potentially disruptive innovations in solar.

On-module batteries

Yotta Energy introduced the SolarLeaf, a distributed battery installed beneath individual solar panels. The 1 kWh lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are designed for commercial and industrial flat roofs.

Yotta Energy’s novel design distributes iron-phosphate batteries at module level on flat roofs.
Image: Yotta Energy

The company also said it secured $13 million in a Series A round to scale its business, bringing total funding to $20 million. The funding round was led by WIND Ventures, along with Doral Energy-Tech, Riverstone, and returning investors EDP and Swan Impact Network.

The company recently inked a 12-project deal with Louisiana commercial solar developer EcoBuild, the first of which is an 87 kW solar and storage microgrid system.

Big oil’s solar buy-in

Silicon Ranch Corp., a platform company for Shell, acquired solar developer Clearloop, which offers carbon emission offsets to businesses by selling stakes in solar facilities on some of the dirtiest parts of the grid.

Clearloop recently broke ground in Jackson, Tennessee, on its first solar farm to be fully financed by corporate carbon offsets.

Clearloop said its model diverges from traditional carbon offset contracts, which typically involve a third-party carbon registry broker middleman to transfer credits. 

Ubiquitous solar

UbiQD, short for Ubiquitous Quantum Dots, a New Mexico-based advanced materials company, announced it installed its energy-producing windows at three commercial sites.

A UbiQD solar window installation at a hotel in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Image: UbiQD, Inc.

A Holiday Inn Express hotel, the UbiQD headquarters, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory each now house the windows, which are integrated with quantum dot-tinted glass luminescent solar concentrator technology. The three sites will serve as trials to test factors like window orientation, time of day, seasonality, temperature, manufacturing and installation methods.

Quantum dots are photoluminescent particles so small that it would take 100,000 of them to span one fingernail, said UbiQD. The company said it has applications in localized DC microgrids and smart building solutions, including integration with sensors for climate and ambient controls.

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