Smart Grid, Battery/Storage and Efficiency Companies Bring in $433 Million in Venture Capital in Q2 2016

SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group
July 20, 2016 10:00 ET

Smart Grid, Battery/Storage and Efficiency Companies Bring in $433 Million in Venture Capital in Q2 2016

Smart Grid Companies Receive $222 Million; Battery/Storage Companies Receive $125 Million; Energy Efficiency Companies Raise $86 Million

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jul 20, 2016) -  Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the Smart Grid, Battery/Storage and Energy Efficiency sectors in Q2 2016.
Smart Grid Venture capital (VC) funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) for Smart Grid companies doubled with $222 million(M) in 15 deals compared to $110M in 14 deals in Q1 2016. Year-over-year (YoY) funding also doubled compared to Q2 2015 when $104M was raised in 18 deals.
Top VC funded companies were Vivint Smart Home with $100M, ChargePoint with $50M, AutoGrid Systems with $20M, Origami Energy with $19.5M, and lastly Comfy secured $12M.
Forty-six VC investors participated in Smart Grid deals in Q2 2016. Smart Grid Communication technologies, including Home Automation, raised $123M.
There were three M&A transactions in Q2 2016 compared to two transactions in Q1 2016.
Battery/StorageVC funding for Battery and Storage companies doubled with $125M in 10 deals in Q2 2016, compared to $54M in 10 deals in Q1 2016. Year-over-year funding in Q2-2016 was in line with Q2-2015, which had $126M in 13 deals.
Top 5 Battery/Storage VC funding deals were Nexeon with $43.3M, Aquion Energy with $33M, Stem with $15M, and Greenvision Technologies (Relicell) with $8M and Silatronix with $8M.
Twenty investors participated in Battery and Storage funding in Q2 2016. Lithium-ion Battery companies raised $51.3M in three deals.
Announced debt and public market financing for Battery/Storage technologies came to $65M in two deals in Q2-2016, compared to $28.5M in two deals in Q1-2016.
There were four M&A transactions (two disclosed) for Battery/Storage companies in Q2 2016. The largest M&A deal in Q2 2016 was the $1.1 billion(B) acquisition of Saft by Total. Another notable deal included the acquisition of an 80 percent stake in Green Charge Networks by ENGIE.
EfficiencyEnergy Efficiency technology companies raised $86M in VC funding in nine deals compared to $211M in 14 deals in Q1 2016 and $211M in 18 deals in Q2 2015.
The top VC funded company in Q2 2016 was Thermondo with $25.6M in funding, followed by tado° with $23M, Electric Imp with $21M, and Kyulux with $13.5M.
Eighteen investors participated in VC deals in Q2 2016.
Announced debt and public market financing in the Efficiency category peaked in Q2 2016 with $1.75B in seven deals.
There was one initial public offering (IPO) in the Efficiency category by Philips Lighting for $959M.
In Q2 PACE Financing totaled $762M including $512M in PACE Securitization deals from three transactions. Renovate America had the top deal with $305.3M raised in its seventhsecuritization of PACE bonds. To date, PACE financing companies have raised more than $2B.
There were seven M&A transactions in the Efficiency sector in Q2 2016, including the $532M acquisition of Opower by Oracle.
To get a copy of the report, visit:
About Mercom Capital GroupMercom Capital Group is a global communications and research firm focused on thecleantech sector. Mercom advises companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and strategic decision-making. Visit: To get our market intelligence reports, visit:

Innovative vessel charging and mooring

Cavotec has entered into an agreement with Wärtsilä to develop innovative wireless charging and automated mooring technologies that should deliver substantial reductions in environmental impact for operators worldwide.
Earlier this year, Cavotec and Wärtsilä announced a co-operation agreement to develop the world’s first integrated marine wireless charging and automated mooring concept. The agreement incorporates Wärtsilä’s innovative wireless vessel charging system, which is based on inductive power transfer, (IPT), and incorporates Cavotec’s automated mooring technology MoorMaster. 
Market interest in this solution has already been confirmed with the first prototype scheduled for installation in Norway during the first half of 2017.

The IPT sequence 
Cavotec and Wärtsilä have combined four MoorMaster vacuum pads and one IPT plate to achieve what is claimed to be the fastest automated mooring and charging sequence in the industry to date. This unprecedented speed supports key industry objectives of optimising the number of battery packs on the berth and vessel to reduce the overall cost of investment in terms of a number of factors such as battery cost, vessel weight, and heat load.As ferries approach the berth, the IPT system readies for the charging and mooring sequence. 
Crucially – and in one of the key features of this system – charging can begin before the vessel is fully moored, thereby generating significant time savings, which in fast turn-around ferry service settings are especially relevant. An advanced detection system determines when the IPT unit is within an appropriate range to the vessel, and once 75% of the surface area of the charging plates on the ship and MoorMaster are overlapping, charging starts. 
Operators focus on manoeuvring the ferry along the berth, and once in position, a number of vacuum pads – typically around four for the size of ferry envisaged in this co-operation – extend, and attach to the vessel’s hull, achieving safe, secure mooring within 30 seconds.
At departure, a signal received from the bridge or ramp prompts the MoorMaster vacuum pads to retract from the vessel within 10 seconds. The charging sequence ends when the induction plates are no longer within acceptable operational limits.
MoorMaster: challenging the conventional
MoorMaster is a vacuum-based automated mooring technology that eliminates the need for conventional mooring lines. Remote controlled vacuum pads recessed in, or mounted on the quayside or pontoons, moor and release vessels in seconds.The system dramatically improves safety and operational efficiency, and in many cases enables ports to make considerable infrastructure savings. 
To date, some 200MoorMaster units have performed some 200,000 mooring operations at 30 – soon to be 42 – ferry, bulk handling, Ro/Ro, container and lock applications worldwide.The vacuum units hold vessels at set distances from the berth, thereby avoiding the need for ships to be repositioned along the quay – resulting in operational improvements and reduced emissions from ships and tugs.

Innovation in practice
Separately, Cavotec has recently received an order to supply equipment for an automated mooring and charging applications in Finland, a project where Cavotec will manufacture,install, and commission two combined automated mooring and battery charging systems for an electric hybrid passenger ferry application in southwest Finland.
This application integrates MoorMaster; AMP systems, and Cavotec’s Automatic Plug-inSystem, (APS). APS automates the connection of cranes, ships and other mobile equipment to electrical power using cable reels, thereby expanding the potential use of mobile electrical equipment. The system also generates cost savings and improved safety standards.
“Cavotec’s APS enables the fully automated connection of electrical power to the vessel at the touch of a button, and MoorMaster holds the ferry in position allowing the captain to switch off its thrusters while the ferry is loaded and unloaded,” explains Benny Törnroos, managing director of Cavotec Finland.
Similar to the Cavotec systems that already moor and charge a battery-powered passenger ferry at two berths in Norway, two MoorMaster MM200 units will be installed at the Parainen and Nauvo berths, (one unit at each berth), along with two AMP charging towers. The MoorMaster unit signals to the AMP unit when the ship is securely moored, and a laser sensor then guides the AMP connector to a hatch in the side of the vessel where it connects to the ship’s battery unit to begin charging.
The electric hybrid ferry, which will be operated by FinFerries, will be approximately 90m in length, 16m wide, and will be able to carry up to 90 cars. It is due to enter service in summer 2017. The vessel will make crossings – at 15-minute intervals during the day, and one round trip per hour at night – throughout the year and in all weather conditions.
At the Norway application, which has been in operation since spring 2015, the system is used with the 80m battery-powered ZeroCat ‘Ampere’ catamaran run by Norwegian ferry operator Norled. By using MoorMaster, the ZeroCat’s propeller system is switched off for nine minutes during each 10-minute boarding process, thereby giving sufficient time to connect to the charging system and charge the on-board batteries for the next crossing.
The Norled and FinFerries applications are attracting interest in the maritime sector, and have the potential to be adopted by a large number of similar ferry routes in Norway and many more beyond. APS is also gaining plaudits from the industry. It won the inaugural Innovation of the Year Award at the Electric & Hybrid World Expo 2014, an event that “honoured the world’s finest engineers, innovations and products in the electric and hybrid marine arena.”
In another recent passenger ferry-related development for MoorMaster, this time in the UK, Wightlink Ferries is to introduce the system at two of its passenger and vehicle ferry berths in Portsmouth, (on the mainland), and Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight.The introduction of MoorMaster will allow Wightlink’s new, larger vessel to use the existing berth at Portsmouth, without having to make a costly extension to it, which would have also caused difficulties for manoeuvring vessels.

Co-operation in Norway
Separately, in Norway, Cavotec has joined a group of engineers, investors, and representatives from the maritime sector to support the expansion of the use of electrically powered ships in the Nordic country.The project, named ReCharge, is headed by leading certification and classification group DNV GL. Along with Cavotec, Port of Oslo is also partnering on the project, together with Enova, a technology- and data analytics online lending company, which is contributing almost half of the project’s total NOK 1.45 million budget.
ReCharge will review the practicalities of expanding the availability of shore power at Norway’s ports, and research different power systems, such as battery-powered vessels and hybrids. 
Shore power, or cold ironing, is the process of connecting ships in port to the electrical grid and switching off their engines. This reduces emissions of NOx, SOx, and particulate matter. Cavotec has extensive experience of the design, manufacture and installation of high and low voltage ship-based, shore-based, and mobile shore power, or Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) systems. The Group first started working with AMP in the 1980s in Sweden,and has since supported customers worldwide with the technology. 
ReCharge conveners say that they want to see Norway become the world leader in environmentally-friendly ships. And while Norway is not an EU state, improved availability of shore power would keep it in line with conditions of an EU directive that requires all EU ports to make shore power available by 2025. According to DNV GL, some 40 hybrid ships are currently on order for Norwegian shipping lines, with a similar number of plug-in hybrid vessels also due to enter service in the coming years.

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PBES announces the world's first-ever commercialized thermal runaway suppression system

VANCOUVER and TRONDHEIM, NorwayNov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - PBES, a global leader in battery storage for industrial applications, announced the world's first ever commercialized thermal runaway suppression system.  The system is capable of suppressing and preventing the effect of cascading thermal runaway even in systems that have sustained significant physical damage.
"The historic challenge for lithium batteries has always been that they can catch fire," said Brent Perry, chief executive of PBES. "No More. Our team of industry-leading pioneers has developed a solution that effectively stops thermal runaway."
This advance in lithium energy storage represents the first fire-safe lithium battery system ever, managing safety at the cell level. An industry first in terms of fire-safe lithium battery system, it solves the universal problem of safety, effectively removing a significant barrier in the marketplace. 
In multiple tests, without a single failure, PBES has demonstrated kilowatt to megawatt scalability to completely control and eliminate thermal runaway. Until now, thermal runaway mitigation in a commercially available product has never before been achieved. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) successfully stopped thermal runaway but it was in a lab setting using liquid nitrogen for cooling.
The incorporation of the patent pending Thermal-StopTM, CellCoolTM and E-VentTM systems, combined with industry leading advanced energy management system, provide safety and protection from the cell level up to the system level. This unique design provides results that have never been achieved by competing lithium-battery technologies.
PBES lithium battery storage is ideally suited for: renewable energy to grid, grid based systems, industrial marine, port machinery, commercial transportation, data center UPS, defense and homeland security, island and other off-grid or remote community applications.   
"The harder a system works, the better energy storage can support it, and the faster the customer's return on investment," said Perry. "Modeled on the standards of the IEC and the third party class group type approval criteria of DNV-GL, Lloyds Register and American Bureau of Shipping, PBES engineered solutions are the template for energy storage for the next twenty years." 
Brent will attend the COP21 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris where he will present on lithium battery safety, advancing energy storage technology and the impact of energy storage on the environment in industrial applications marine and grid applications in Global markets. Please email to find out more information about Mr. Perry's presentation. 
PBES solutions are currently offered with NMC and Titanate cell chemistry, with performance starting at 3C RMS, and lifespan up to 10 years. Payback is typically within 1-3 years. 
PBES invites observers to see the company's new thermal runaway suppression technology for themselves. Participants can register to observe the company's advanced batteries safely being pushed to previously unthinkable levels in Q1 2016 in Canada or Sweden
About PBESPBES provides engineering and strategic design services to the industrial energy storage industry. Comprised of some of the top thinkers in the energy storage field, PBES applies next generation engineering to industrial, marine and grid energy storage applications. 
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ABB to power world’s largest emission-free electric ferries and deliver first automated shore-side charging station

Innovative ABB technology reduces emissions, increases efficiency of battery charging, reduces safety risk on HH Ferries route between Helsingør and Helsingborg
ABB will supply the complete power and propulsion systems for two HH Ferries Group vessels to become the world´s largest emission-free electric ferries. The modernizations utilize turnkey ABB solutions including batteries, an energy storage control system and Onboard DC Grid technology. At both ends of the route ABB will supply the first automated shore-side charging stations using an ABB industrial robot, to optimize the connection time and therefore maximize the charging period.
The two ferries, Tycho Brahe and Aurora, will operate completely on battery power between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsingborg (Sweden), a distance of approximately 4 km carrying more than 7.4 Million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually. The new battery solution will help lower total emissions across the fleet by more than 50 percent from the current diesel operated vessels. The combined battery power of 8,320 kWh for the two ferries is the equivalent of 10,700 car batteries.
Introduced in 2001, ABB’s IRB 7600, with its proven track record, is being used as part of the new charging station technology. All pre-docking procedures are based on 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore. During the last 400 mm of the ferry’s approach the robot will reach out and pull the shore cable from the ship. The cable reel releases the cable and the robot moves the connectors to the corresponding connectors below the robot. After the connection is made, the robot moves back to the home-position and the roll-up doors closes. The robot will reside inside its own building when not in use.
“This order goes to the very core of what we do at ABB,” says Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business unit. “These are highly innovative solutions in line with our Next Level strategy, improving the efficiency while lowering the environmental impact.”
The order is another milestone in the maritime passenger segment for ABB.
“The ferry services across Scandinavia and the Nordic region are leading the world in terms of progressive environmentally friendly solutions. ABB is at the forefront of this revolution,” said Koskela.
It is an inherent part of HH Ferries’ strategy to actively safeguard the environment, and the ferry company has adhered to emission regulations since 2007, which were later implemented in 2015.
“In this context we are very pleased that we together with ABB and with proven technology and in an innovative way, have been able to create a new set up to retain our position as a highly efficient high capacity route,” says Chief Executive Officer Henrik Rørbæk, HH Ferries Group. “From an environmental point, we invest responsibly in tomorrow’s technology solutions leading towards a greener future.”
The investment is co-financed by INEA, the EU’s executive agency for innovation and network.

Source: ABB