Shell Acquires Smart Energy Storage Manufacturer Sonnen

by | Feb 18, 2019

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(Photo Credit: Sonnen on Facebook)

Shell has agreed to acquire 100% of the German smart energy storage systems manufacturer Sonnen for an undisclosed sum. Sonnen makes solar-powered lithium-ion battery packs for homeowners, and is considered a competitor to Tesla and Samsung.

The announcement follows Shell’s €60 million — around $70 million — investment in Sonnen last May. At the time, the move supported Shell’s mission to invest as much as $1 billion each year in new technologies that reduce customers’ energy usage.

“Sonnen is one of the global leaders in smart, distributed energy storage systems and has a track record of customer-focused innovation,” said Mark Gainsborough, executive vice president of New Energies at Shell. “Full ownership of Sonnen will allow us to offer more choice to customers seeking reliable, affordable and cleaner energy.”

Founded in 2010, Sonnen offers smart energy storage and digital services via a SonnenCommunity platform. The startup’s SonnenBatterie smart energy storage system for homeowners uses solar power generated in the daytime to supply energy at night.

In December 2018, Sonnen and their technology partner Tiko Energy Solutions put Germany’s biggest virtual battery into operation. The battery consists of thousands of individual energy storage systems that arrange themselves into a large-scale virtual battery whenever fluctuations arise in the power grid, the company explained.

Shell’s acquisition of the German startup comes at a time when energy majors are preparing for a global shift towards cleaner fuels, Patrick McGee and Anjli Raval reported in the Financial Times.

“Shell sees a future not only in gas for electricity generation but also in using the fuel as a back-up for renewable power,” they wrote. “It said the deal sits well within its $2 billion New Energies budget. The company plans to allocate 80% of these funds into the power sector in the period to 2020.”

Both companies see the new agreement as accelerating their ability to offer integrated energy services and electric vehicle charging solutions.

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