Moixa secured £2.5 million of funding in the first quarter of 2017 which it will use to pursue a goal of installing 50,000 home battery systems by the end of the decade.
A £1 million funding facility from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will see Moixa open a regional sales and delivery centre in the city, with around 20 local staff expected to be employed within a year.
The office will drive the company’s growth in the north west by offering solar and storage products to private customers and pursuing multi-thousand unit deployments with social housing clients.
Speaking to Solar Power Portal yesterday, Moixa’s founder and chief executive Simon Daniel explained: “We were looking to set up a support centre in mid-England as a lot of our housing stock for social housing is in that area. Manchester has over 1.2 million homes, Liverpool half a million and there's a lot of new house building going on in that area.
“We work with direct sales and large social housing, new build and also utilities so it's quite rational to put our front office sales and customer support functions [there]. It's also a bit cheaper there, closer to the properties and we'd otherwise be a bit too London-centric.”
This follows £500,000 secured from Japan’s largest utility, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in April, which according to Daniel became interested in the use of storage in the retail energy space as the country’s energy system becomes deregulated.
Moixa expects to pilot its battery systems and virtual power plant platform GridShare in Tokyo in a proof of concept trial with TEPCO and other Japanese partners later this year. It is also planning trials in Europe and the US within the next 12 months.
A further £500,000 was secured from venture capital investor First Imagine! Ventures. A third tranche of £500,000 came from individual investors.
These include Lady Barbara Judge CBE, chairman of the Institute of Directors and Athene Capital, who will sit on Moixa’s international advisory group as it starts to consider export markets. She joins the likes of Sam Laidlaw and Ian Marchant, the former CEOs of Centrica and SSE, and Brian Count, former chief operating officer of RWE npower.
Through this new investment, Moixa is aiming to install 50,000 UK batteries and to be managing twice as many using GridShare, aggregating around 250MWh of capacity to deliver services to the National Grid and utilities.
Despite only currently having installed less than 1,000 units, Daniel is confident the large scale projects will come as a result of Moxia’s experience and access to detailed energy usage data of nine million hours of operation.
"There is a big inflection point from the 1,000 we've done to the 50,000 however you can't start selling multi-thousand systems or fund them in an SPV vehicle until you've at least deployed 1,000 as then you don't have experience or data of doing that,” he said.
“We're much more bullish on the potential for storage in the UK because it may not be the best early adopter [market] however it is probably the best scale up market in the world. This is because of the way organised, multi-thousand projects for solar and other technologies were deployed and funded historically and the need of the energy system and house and utility system to do that.
“The UK is a pretty strong market but also a very interesting scaleable market and in our view, the best in the world. There's probably about 50,000+ batteries deployed in Europe today - a bit more than that now - but we see pipelines in the UK that could exceed that and it’s just a question of the economics and the process.”