GE Ventures adds energy storage to investment portfolio

sonnenBatterie by sonnen GmbH, All rights reserved.

June 6 (SeeNews) - General Electric's (NYSE:GE) startup-collaboration division, GE Ventures, has added German energy storage specialist Sonnen GmbH to its investment portfolio, the German company said in a statement on Monday.

The US venture capital company, along with existing investors in Sonnen, provided a sum in the double-digit million-euro range that should help the German firm develop its brand of residential power storage systems.

Sonnen recently posted record quarterly sales with 2,600 units of its energy storage system, the SonnenBatterie, sold in the first three months of 2016.

The US unit of the company started shipments at the end of 2015 and has reached a seven-figure sales number for the first quarter of 2016.

In Germany, Sonnen is developing a networked electricity community named sonnenCommunity which combines decentralized renewable power generation, advanced battery storage technology and digital networking to allow members to become independent of the established electricity providers.

The sonnenCommunity  members are typically homes equipped with a sonnenBatterie and a photovoltaic system. Surplus electricity that can’t be consumed or stored is fed into a virtual energy pool that serves other members in times when they can not produce enough energy for their own needs. A central software links up and monitors all sonnenCommunity members  while balancing energy supply and demand.

Some 1,500 households had signed up for the scheme since it was introduced last November in Germany and Austria.

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