Hanwha taps into ESS business by acquiring 100% stake in US-based Geli

  • 2020-08-08

Hanwha Q CELLS has acquired a 100% stake in the energy software company Growing Energy Labs, Inc (Geli) in a move to step up its energy business in the US. This is the first energy storage solutions (ESS) acquisition carried out by Q CELLS since it became a part of the South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group.

The acquisition price has not been disclosed, but it is estimated to be in the range of tens of millions of dollars. Geli has raised around $30 million in funding since its inception.

The acquisition of Geli would serve as a good footing for Hanwha to foray into the US C&I (commercial and industrial) distributed energy market which is highly profitable. A source from Hanwha explained that the decision to acquire the US energy software company was prompted by the drastic change in the energy retail market and the increased use of renewable energy which does not emit greenhouse gas.

“There is increasing demand in the energy storage space for comprehensive energy solutions. We are excited to work together to strengthen our competitiveness in the global distributed energy market,” said Hee Cheul Kim, the chief executive officer of Q CELLS.

Q CELLS had mainly focused on selling solar power modules, and now it will be able to further diversify its business into areas such as producing energy, storing it, and leasing it out to clients. The ESS can be designed, automated, and managed through Geli’s proprietary artificial intelligence technology.

Through the deal, the Korean energy company will have access to hardware and software capabilities, offering both solar and storage services. This will help to facilitate QCELLS presence in the US energy market and expand its turf by analyzing user patterns and selling remaining energy to other users. Consumers will be able to select the most effective rate plan.

“Combining with Q CELLS will accelerate Geli’s product roadmap and strategy, bringing greater value to all of our customers and partners in all of our markets,” said Dan Loflin, the chief executive officer of Geli.

Q CELLS is a provider of total energy solutions for solar cell and module, energy storage, and energy retail. It operates under Hanwha Solutions with its headquarter based in South Korea. The company has been an active supplier of integrated energy solutions in Europe and Australia.

Hanwha’s newest addition Geli is an ESS firm based in San Francisco. Founded in 2010, the company’s software platform analyzes data to create an energy management system (EMS) which regulates commercial solar power facilities and ESS.

Meanwhile, Hanwha Q CELLS aims to complete the deal within the year. The acquisition will be subject to review by the US Committee on Foreign Investment.

 

By Sang-eun Lucia Lee

selee@hankyung.com

<Edited by Danbee Lee>