Yotta Energy has secured $13 million to scale the building-as-a-power-plant concept with a microgrid-ready system that tucks a briefcase size battery under rooftop solar panels.
The Austin, Texas-based energy storage company is pitching its product as a way to overcome the problem of finding space for batteries in commercial buildings. Yotta installs its SolarLeaf, a 1-kWh battery, within solar tracking on a roof. The lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are set underneath the solar panels about three feet apart.
The system can connect with both solar PV and hybrid systems that will interconnect with gas generation. The company told Microgrid Knowledge that it is working with Energy Toolbase and Naak on microgrid controller technology to make the system into a full microgrid.
Designed for flat roofs, Yotta’s modular product hits the market as grid-interactive buildings and electrification increase interest in turning buildings into nanogrids and virtual power plants — systems that can improve electric reliability for commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings while also making them a grid asset. A May 2021 road map by the US Department of Energy says that over the next two decades grid-interactive buildings could reduce electric power system costs by $100 billion-$200 billion.
“The C&I market is poised for tremendous growth and we’re ready to help businesses future-proof their buildings with the rollout of distributed renewable energy resources,” said Omeed Badkoobeh, CEO and co-founder of Yotta Energy. “As we see the effects of the global power shortage emerge, we have thousands of flat-roof buildings that can address both the shortage and zero-emission goals worldwide.”
Yotta’s Series A funding round is led by venture capital firm WIND Ventures, which was formed in 2020 by Chilean energy company Copec, an affiliate of conglomerate AntarChile. Follow-on investors are Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Riverstone Ventures and returning investors, EDP Ventures and SWAN Impact Network.
The round brings the company’s total funding to $20 million.
Yotta Energy plans to use the funding to expand in the US and Latin America. It has deployed the system in several states, including California and Texas, and has pilot projects underway with several utilities. The company also has a 12-project deal underway with Louisiana commercial solar installer EcoBuild. The first system will be an 87-kW solar and storage microgrid.
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