GE Ventures, an offshoot of the giant energy services company GE, has announced it has bought a stake in German battery storage developer Sonnen GmbH, in yet another example of an energy major pushing into the solar plus storage market.
GE ventures is paying a “mid double-digit million-euro” sum for an undisclosed minority stake in the company, and is attracted to both its residential lithium storage system and its online energy sharing platform.
Described the joint venture as a blueprint for the “utility of the future”, GE Ventures managing director Jonathan Pulitzer said sonnen is “helping to reshape the energy industry” and the two companies would work to “provide clean and affordable energy to all.”
sonnen develops and produces the smart storage system “sonnenBatterie”, which was recently released in Australia and has so far been installed in more than 10,000 households worldwide, competing with the likes of Tesla, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and others.
Its shared solar technology allows solar households to share their self-produced energy with other people, and can help them become completely independent of conventional suppliers.
The other owners of sonnen include founder Christoph Ostermann and four private equity funds.
GE is not the first energy major to invest in battery storage. Total has invested $1.2 billion in battery storage manufacturer Saft, Statoil is investing in battery storage for its offshore wind farms, and Shell is expected overnight to unveil its “new energy” division that will include battery storage.
German auto group Daimler also owns a stake in The Mobility House, a Munich-based maker of electric vehicle chargers and batteries which Daimler expects will link solar modules to home batteries and electric vehicles.