Jun 15, 2022 - Energy & Environment

GM invests in offshore wind startup

artist rendering of a floating offshore wind system
Image courtesy of Wind Catch Systems

General Motors' VC arm is the lead investor on a $10 million Series A funding round for Wind Catching Systems, a Norwegian startup looking to commercialize next-wave floating offshore wind designs.

Why it matters: It's GM Ventures' first funding for a renewable power startup and a move that the auto giant calls complementary to its widening rollout of electric cars.

  • As GM moves deeper into EVs, it’s "critical that we simultaneously drive the transition of the grid to low-carbon energy sources,” GM chief sustainability officer Kristen Siemen said in a statement.

Driving the news: Oslo-based WCS says its multiturbine system — seen via an artist's rendering above — cuts acreage needed for offshore wind by 80% and operates more efficiently than today's floating tech.

  • Beyond the funding, GM and WCS have a "strategic agreement" to collaborate on tech development, project execution and more, they said.
  • The funding round also includes Norwegian firms Ferd AS, North Energy ASA and Havfonn AS. WCS hopes to launch its first commercial project by 2027.

The big picture: EVs help fight global warming by displacing oil. But the cleaner the grid they're charging from, the greater the climate advantage over traditional drivetrains.

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