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Shell tightens grip on storage with Sonnen takeover

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Fossil fuel giant Shell has acquired 100% of German battery storage firm Sonnen for an undisclosed sum.

The move comes less than a year after Sonnen raised €60 million (US$70.5m) in a financing round led by Shell.

Shell said the deal, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, aimed to “accelerate the building of a customer-focused energy system in support of Shell’s strategy to offer more and cleaner energy solutions to customers”.

However, the multinational declined to say whether it had designs on expanding into batteries— in view of its partnership with energy storage developer Anesco to develop a 1.25MW lithium-ion project in Norfolk, UK.

A Shell spokesperson told BEST Battery Briefing: “We could not speculate on any other company that we are involved with or investing in.”

Sonnen is a ‘smart energy storage’ provider that recently put a 300MWh “virtual battery” into operation in Germany, using their network of home battery systems across the country to help balance the grid.

“With this investment we’re excited to help more households to become energy independent”, said Sonnen’s CEO and co-founder Christoph Ostermann. “Shell will help drive the growth of Sonnen to a new level and help speed up the transformation of the energy system.”

Last year, the investment arm of oil multinational BP, BP Ventures, said it was investing US$10m in a fund aimed at powering the expansion of battery production and R&D for China’s new energy vehicle industry.

BP Ventures has also invested in FlashBattery developer StoreDot.

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