Apr 26, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Battery storage firm wins $2M for Nevada Air Force Base project

Workers installing a Yotta Energy battery system behind solar panels.
Photo: Yotta Energy

The battery storage company Yotta Energy raised an additional $3.5 million in Series A finance and announced a nearly $2 million Defense Department award for a microgrid project at a Nevada Air Force Base.

Why it matters: Expanded use of battery storage helps accommodate growing amounts of zero-carbon but intermittent solar and wind energy, and boosts the resilience of electricity systems.

  • And the military is a massive power consumer that's looking to expand use of clean energy.

Driving the news: Austin, Texas-based Yotta, which has battery tech that can integrate directly with almost any solar panel designs, said the latest round brings its total Series A finance to $16.5 million.

  • The company is focused on the commercial and industrial solar market, and says its system is "designed to seamlessly fit under any industry standard solar PV module."

What they're saying: "Historically, hardware in the clean tech space has been very difficult to raise funding for, but that's certainly kind of changed," CEO and co-founder Omeed Badkoobeh told Axios in an interview.

  • "I think people have realized that you're going to need to invest in some hardware to solve some of the climate issues that we are facing,"

Zoom in: APsystems, which co-produces custom-built power inverters with Yotta, is also an investor in the new Series A round.

  • Olivier Jacques, APsystems president of global business units, said in a statement that they see "tremendous growth potential in rooftop solar-plus-storage."
  • "Yotta has produced an innovative, module-level commercial energy storage solution that no one else is doing right now,” said Jacques said.
  • He praised Yotta's tech for attributes including its direct mounting behind panels, noting that means "no zoning" and "no concrete," i.e. it does not require a separate site.

The project with the Air Force is at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. Yotta said they've been awarded $1.97 million under the Defense Department's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program.

  • It's a demonstration and validation program for innovative technologies.

Catch up fast: Yotta, founded in 2016, last fall announced a $13 million Series A round led by Wind Ventures and also included Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Riverstone Ventures.

The company's total funding to date, including today's announcements, is over $25.5 million, Yotta said.

What's next: Yotta said the latest funding will help further scale its tech, continue tech development and hire more people.

  • "Our mainstream market is to go after any [commercial and industrial] customers. So think of grocery stores, car dealerships, office parks, that want dispatchable solar plus storage, that want to add more capacity to do EV charging, and kind of see the writing on the wall that energy prices are going to rise sharply and they want to lock in their prices," Badkoobeh said.
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