UK battery storage company Moixa has secured £2.5m in new investment and is to start a collaboration with Japan’s largest utility TEPCO.

The company expects to pilot its compact battery systems in Tokyo in a ‘proof of concept’ trial with TEPCO and other Japanese partners later this year. It is also planning trials in Europe and the US within the next 12 months.

Moixa has secured £500,000 in equity investment from TEPCO, and Hirokazu Yamaguchi, Executive General Manager for Global Innovation & Investments at TEPCO, said: “Moixa has developed a robust battery storage and smart energy-sharing platform. We look forward to gaining hands-on experience for the benefit of our customers.”

Moixa has secured another £500,000 equity investment from First Imagine! Ventures and a £1m funding facility from Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Moixa will open a regional sales and delivery centre in Manchester which is intended to drive the company’s growth in the north west of England by offering solar and storage products to private customers and pursuing multi-thousand unit deployments with social housing clients.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, Lead Member for Investment and Finance on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “The GMCA is determined to make Greater Manchester a centre of low-carbon innovation to transform our economy, create new jobs and cut our CO2 emissions by 48 per cent. We are delighted to partner with Moixa. In addition to the clear environmental benefits, their battery storage technology with solar panels has huge potential to cut household bills and tackle fuel poverty.”

By 2020, Moixa expects to have installed 50,000 UK batteries and to be managing twice as many using its patented, cloud-based ‘GridShare’ platform. This will create a ‘virtual power plant’ aggregating around 250 MWh of capacity to deliver services to the National Grid and utilities that will help reduce the costs of running the electricity network and allow it to support increased levels of renewables.

Moixa has been awarded UK and US patents on managing distributed batteries for grid services.

Moixa chief executive Simon Daniel said: “Smart home batteries are transforming our electricity system, saving money for households and communities and supporting a cost-effective, reliable, low-carbon network. We are developing solar plus storage solutions for social housing that will help councils tackle fuel poverty and we look forward to collaborating with Greater Manchester and supporting the low carbon energy transition in the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Lady Barbara Judge CBE, chairman of the UK’s Institute of Directors and investment firm Athene Capital, is an investor in the latest round and will sit on Moixa’s international advisory group as it starts to consider export markets.

She said: “Britain aims to be a world leader in battery technology and Moixa is well positioned to seize opportunities in a rapidly emerging global market. It has unrivalled experience in the UK, strong partnerships with key players, and is working at the cutting edge pioneering the use of smart batteries in virtual power plants to cut costs and carbon in our electricity system.”

Moixa has installed nearly 1000 systems in the UK with a combined nine million hours of operation, giving it the field experience to scale up its roll-out of products and demand response services.

Moixa is driving battery aggregation in a series of projects working with a wide range of councils, utilities and community energy groups.

It is involved in a trial with Northern Powergrid near Barnsley, linking 40 home batteries to demonstrate how virtual power plants can relieve pressures on the electricity network and enable more homes to install solar panels without having to upgrade the local network. Moxia said the project is expected to halve residents’ energy bills and save millions in the costs of running the UK’s power network.

The company is also working with Oxford City Council on a two-year project which aims to tackle fuel poverty in one of the city’s most deprived communities. It links smart batteries in 82 homes, a school and community centre with 300kWp of solar panels creating a virtual smart local energy grid allowing the community to maximise use of the free energy it generates.

Moixa is also working with Hitachi on a £10.8m project on the Scilly Isles which will is intended to lay the foundations for the islands to cut electricity bills by 40 per cent and boost renewables by 40 per cent. It is developing platforms to enable home batteries and electric vehicles to help balance supply and demand within the islands’ energy system.