Smart grid tech start-up GreenSync will extend its Australian services and expand internationally following a $11.5 million capital raising that attracted the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Southern Cross Venture Partners.
GreenSync’s technology overlays the existing grid and helps to better integrate renewables and storage, promising to help a transition from a centralised energy system to a more decentralised one, as well as reducing the need for costly network upgrades.
GreenSync founder and chief executive Dr Phil Blythe said the Australian energy system was undergoing “unprecedented change” towards decentralisation.
“Our transformation from a company offering peak demand management services to a company offering broad spectrum control and optimisation of grids with energy resources and battery storage is reflective of the rapid changes underway in Australia and around the world,” he said.
The technology targets a range of players in the energy market, from transmission and distribution companies to large industrial and commercial facilities, and even residential and remote precincts. Dr Blythe said GreenSync was aiming to optimise electricity grids so that more than 80 per cent of electricity used could be renewable.
Already most major Australian electricity distributers are using the system, along with developments like airports, supermarkets, business parks, resorts and cold storage facilities. While there was potential to retrofit existing systems in the residential sector, Dr Blythe told The Fifth Estate the greenfields were where most of the action was.
As well as developing the Australian business, the finance will be used to expand further into the Asian market, where GreenSync already has a Singapore office. The goal, though, is to take on the world.
“We’re looking to be a global leader in integrating the new energy economy of renewable resources, battery storage and internet enabled devices into electricity markets around the world,” Dr Blythe 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.”
The prospects look good too, with Dr Blythe telling The Fifth Estate there were only a handful of companies across the world with similar technology. He said GreenSync was doubling in size year-on-year and now employs around 30 staff.
As part of the capital raising, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation invested $5 million through its Clean Energy Innovation Fund, while the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund – a co-investment between ARENA and Softbank China Venture Capital – invested another $5 million. The remainder was invested by a private fund.
CEFC investment development director Blair Pritchard said the decision to invest was due to the technology’s ability to lower capital costs of decentralised energy systems, reduce clean energy prices and enable the country to better manage energy peaks and troughs.
“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,” he said.
“In the future the smart grid will be able to integrate an even greater use of renewable energy, as well as electric vehicles and battery storage options, giving consumers even more control of their energy consumption.”