Vattenfall and EWE invest in PV monitoring company Solytic

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Solytic’s founder team: Steffen Mangold, Johannes Burgard, Johannes Dahl, Konrad Perényi (left to right)

The Berlin-based PV monitoring company, Solytic, secures a medium seven-digit sum in its Series A round. The investment is led by Swedish energy company Vattenfall—onboard since 2017—and EWE the Oldenburg-based energy company. Furthermore, a number of business angels join as additional investors, including THELO Investors.

In just two years, Solytic has become a leading service company in the field of data management for photovoltaic (PV) plants.

“We are the only company on the market that uses data from PV plants in a purely software-based solution to accelerate amortisation through comprehensively optimised performance. The bottom line is that our customers reach the breakeven point more quickly because they achieve a higher return on investment throughout the entire life cycle of the PV plant”, says Konrad Perényi, managing director and co-founder of Solytic.

The software developed by Solytic relies on artificial intelligence to optimise the operation of solar plants by analysing existing data. With automated monitoring, weak points of a plant are detected early, maintenance is improved, repair costs are reduced, and failures are avoided. This leads to a significant increase in efficiency in operational management with comparatively lower costs and investment. New hardware installations are not necessary. Additional services, such as repair, maintenance or cleaning and expansions, such as battery solutions or direct marketing, can be obtained by the operator of a solar plant via a digital marketplace, orchestrated by Solytic. “With the sophisticated analysis and recommendations for best practice, our customers significantly improve decision-making reliability for all measures affecting the plant”, says Perényi. “Fundamentally, because our software translates live data into concrete actionables.”

Solytic’s User Interface

The Series A financing will accelerate product development and international expansion. Founded in September 2017, the startup currently employs 25 people and monitors more than 100,000 PV plants. The goal is to service one million plants within the next three years.

“For us, this cooperation on an equal footing with two of the five largest companies in Germany is an important step forward and confirmation that Solytic is on the right track”, says Perényi. “It gives us the necessary clout to further expand digital services in the solar market and to gain a strong market position. Without an immense expansion of power generation by solar plants, the energy transition to a CO2-neutral world will not be possible”.

“The energy industry is undergoing a rapid transformation process. Vattenfall’s goal is to enable a fossil-free life within one generation. A cornerstone of our strategy is the further expansion of renewable energies,” says Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President at Vattenfall. “We see significant growth potential in the solar sector. However, economic success depends on constructing renewable plants as cost-effectively as possible and operating them with data support. Therefore, the investment in a company like Solytic, which is clearly focused on digital services in this future-oriented area, is a very sensible investment for Vattenfall”, Groebler continued.

In order for the energy transition to gain momentum, the costs of generating solar power must continue to fall. Currently, PV plants pay for themselves within 8-15 years. “Our customers want to reach the break-even point faster. That is why we rely on automated analyses that identify and exploit potential”, says Johannes Burgard, managing director and co-founder of Solytic.

Currently, there are around 1.7 million PV plants in Germany alone. However, in light of rising electricity prices and growing environmental awareness, it can be assumed that the expansion of solar energy will continue to grow significantly. “This demand is meeting with an extremely fragmented supply from a wide range of different service providers and manufacturers,” says Burgard. “Most buyers of solar plants are mainly interested in the yields and their degree of self-sufficiency. In order to enable plant owners to minimize their expenses while maximizing their yield, Solytic continuously evaluates the plant data and reports weaknesses and potentials to the operators with concrete proposals for solutions.”  “As an energy supplier we want to offer our customers simple and convenient solutions that reduce the complexity of their everyday lives,” says Dr. Urban Keussen, Board Member for Technology and Innovation at the Oldenburg-based energy company EWE. “For us, this also includes services from partners such as Solytic, with which our customers can save time and money. The provision of such services is then a sustainable benefit for everyone involved,” Keussen continues.

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