The Turnbull government’s renewable energy investment arm, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), has contributed nearly half of an $11.5 million series B capital raise into a Melbourne tech startup that’s hoping to change the way electricity grids operate.
GreenSync, one of a growing number of startups using technology to transform how energy is distributed. The CEFC tipped $5 million into the raise, matched by the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, a co-investment between ARENA, the Australian government’s other renewable energy investment arm, and Softbank China Venture Capital. The $1.5 million balance came from a private investors. The business has now raised more than $13 million alongside $500,000 in government grants.
GreenSync, which recently opened an office in Singapore and plans to use some of the investment to expand into Asian markets, has already partnered with a number of Australian energy suppliers and major corporates as it looks to add renewables and battery storage to the electricity grid’s mix.
Founder and CEO Dr Phil Blythe has in recent years refocussed the business from offering peak demand management services for corporate clients to using technology to manage and optimise the grid using renewables.
“Having the financial backing of CEFC and Southern Cross Venture Partners further legitimises the significance of GreenSync’s technology and our future role in building a sustainable energy economy for our partners and customers, not just in Australia but globally,” he said.
“There is huge potential for GreenSync internationally and with our strong market position in Australia, we look forward to starting the journey of mapping the global grid.”
CEFC’s investment development director Blair Pritchard said the organisation’s investment is designed to help transform the the Australian energy market from the current centralised model, to a decentralised one, with less power lost during transmission as a result.
“Through the smart control of locally-generated energy resources, GreenSync is contributing to the growth of a new energy economy focused on a cleaner power supply and carbon reduction,” he said.
“GreenSync’s technology acts like the brain and spinal cord of the smart grid, giving industrial and commercial sites, households and businesses access to the appropriate energy source at the right time, improving reliability and penetration of renewable sources.
“As battery storage develops, we can expect to see even greater use of renewable energy and GreenSync’s technology will help facilitate that transition.”
One example of how GreenSync operates is a deal with United Energy on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula to manage peak demand using locally generated renewable energy sources from households and businesses. By hooking renewables into the grid and managing them effectively, GreenSync’s technology offers a cost competitive alternative to an expensive traditional network build.