GE backs German storage solution

German battery maker Sonnen has secured financial backing from GE Ventures, General Electric’s venture capital subsidiary, to develop its brand of residential power storage systems.

Sonnen, formerly called Sonnenbatterie, is a start-up which besides producing storage batteries has also launched a scheme to connect households with solar panels and other consumers in Europe‘s first online energy sharing platform.

GE and existing investors in Sonnen had together put up a double-digit million-euro sum in growth capital for sonnen, it said in a statement.
Sonnen battery
“Sonnen is helping to reshape the energy industry,” said Jonathan Pulitzer, managing director at GE Ventures. “We believe in sonnen’s vision and that is why we are excited to partner to provide clean and affordable energy for all.”

Sonnen, whose backers also include German E-Capital and Czech firm Inven Capital, has to date sold 11,000 lithium battery units, making it the European market leader in that segment.

The sharing platform “sonnenCommunity” was introduced last November in Germany and Austria, with some 1,500 households had signed up for the scheme, which is aimed at making users independent of conventional suppliers.

Sonnen, which claims to be Europe’s biggest maker of lithium-battery systems for solar storage, competes with Tesla Motors Inc.’s Powerwall home battery and Bosch Power Tec, a unit of Robert Bosch GmbH. The German government this year extended subsidies for battery-power systems for three years, allowing retail customers to save as much as 2,500 euros ($2,840) per unit.

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