German solar battery maker sonnen secures Shell cash to expand /TRUE SOUTH SOLAR

Sonnen, the German solar battery manufacturer, has successfully secured $71 million in cash from Shell Ventures, a unit of Shell, interested in boosting investments in solar and other renewables.

The two have launched a strategic cooperation agreement partnership engaged in expanding market share in the U.S. and Australia.

Sonnen also confirmed that it has formed a new division that will include innovatively integrated energy propositions and enhanced EV charging.

Sonnen said the cash would enable the company to strengthen its position internationally with a shift into the U.S. and Australian solar markets.

Sonnen has thousands of customers using its lithium-ion battery systems, most of them in Germany, where a combination of rising retail rates and falling solar feed-in tariffs created an economic case for storing and using a home’s solar power, rather than feeding it back to the grid.

So far, sonnen has sold 30,000 batteries worldwide with combined capacity for 210 megawatts. This only equates to a small fossil-fuel power plant but it has potential to expand as storage becomes cheaper and generation becomes less centralized.

In the U.S., sonnen is active in California, home of the most behind-the-meter batteries and solar-storage systems in the country, and in several other smaller markets.

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