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German Companies Unite To Bring Virtual Power Plants To Mid-Sized Businesses


Germany’s Electrofleet has invested in its virtual power plant technology partner Dieenergiekoppler. The two collaborate to enable mid-sized businesses to use self-produced renewable energy based on fixed price contracts. Dieenergiekoppler’s latest financing round solidified the collaboration.

Public charging park in Germany
Public charging park in Germany

Dresden-based Dieenergiekoppler (Energiekoppler), a spinoff of Dresden University of Technology, secured a series A round of venture capital of an undisclosed amount with Osnabrück-based Electrofleet as its new strategic investor, along with its early investors.

The two companies have been working together to build and operate virtual power plants (VPP) for mid-sized businesses faced with the challenges of electric vehicle fleets and electric heating.

Electrofleet provides capital, as well as equipment and services, to upgrade its customers’ facilities so they can use renewable energy at fixed prices in long term contracts. It uses Energiekoppler’s energy management software to aggregate and integrate systems based on fuel cells, heat pumps, photovoltaic systems or storage technologies into the VPP infrastructure.

Energiekoppler’s flagship product, Flexibility Plant, sits between the customer’s energy device, or asset, and the marketer who actively trades on the electricity exchange. “We realize plant connections for direct and flexibility marketers,” Energiekoppler’s spokesperson told pv magazine.

One of the benefits of the technology is that it enables both small and large installations to be connected and marketed as a portfolio on the energy exchange, added the spokesperson.

Electrofleet counts Weller Gruppe, owner of a large German car dealership, as one of its first customers. “Fleet operators face incredible capital cost challenges in making the transition, and our model takes some of that pressure off by upgrading grid access and re-charging capacity at no capital cost to the customer themselves,” Electrofleet’s spokesperson told pv magazine.

The contract with Weller Gruppe entailed the installation of 9 MW of solar PV and 80 MWh of storage capacity at automobile dealer’s sites with a 20-year fixed price agreement.

According to the Electrofleet spokesperson, the target group is companies with a consumption of between 100,000 kWh and 500,000 kWh per year and who are converting fleets from fossil fuels to electricity, “anyone highly exposed to energy price volatility.” These could be logistics companies, retail chains, car dealerships, or production facilities. “It is important that there is sufficient roof space or open space available for the installation of PV systems,” noted the spokesperson. In addition, Electrofleet has concluded power purchase agreements (PPA) with ProWind, based in Osnabrück.

Energiekoppler’s series A venture capital round was completed in November. The capital will be used to develop its products and to expand its sales activities. Early investors are Cottbus, Germany-based energy group LEAG, which was also an early customer, and compatriot Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen (TGFS). An undisclosed amount was raised. It has a software-as-a-service business model.

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Source from pv magazine

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