Q CELLS sets sights on US C&I market as it completes Geli acquisition

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Q CELLS’ home energy storage systems at a European trade show in 2019. After launching an all-in-one renewable energy package for the residential market, the company is now also going after the C&I segment. Image: Solar Media.

Vertically-integrated solar company Q CELLS has completed the acquisition of US-based Growing Energy Labs Inc (Geli) that was announced in August.

The integration of the two companies’ US operations is already underway, Q CELLS said. With Geli primarily focused on an end-to-end software platform for the design and installation of energy storage systems including artificial intelligence technologies and Q CELLS on solar, the new parent company wants to use the combined capabilities to take on the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment of the energy market.

“Q CELLS and Geli have long been committed to innovation and a cleaner tomorrow through smart energy solutions. We are pleased to reach today’s milestone and to finally welcome the Geli team to the Q CELLS family,” Q CELLS CEO Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim said.

“Together we hope to strengthen our commitment to the U.S. market and to bring superior value to our customers and partners in a segment slated for future growth.”

Q CELLS said that it will now be able to offer a fully integrated suite of solutions to C&I customers: solar PV with energy management systems (EMS) and energy storage systems (ESS) all-in-one. This marks the company's first entry into the C&I segment of the market. 

Meanwhile, the provider will also offer a set of “core capabilities” that it hopes will take many of the risks and hurdles out of the C&I market, namely energy analytics modelling for projects, projections for systems sizing and revenue generation opportunities, as well as a “one-stop” contracting and supply process and the commissioning and operation of solutions.

Q CELLS signed the agreement four months ago to acquire 100% of San Francisco-headquartered Geli, which was one of the first companies to emphasise its focus on the software side of the energy storage value proposition. Financial terms have not been disclosed. The central role of software in the energy storage market is becoming ever-more apparent, with panellists at a recent event hearing that it is “crucial” to the bankability of projects in the US market. Meanwhile in June, Q CELLS invested in SwitchDin, an Australia-based distributed energy resources (DERs) software company that offers capabilities including virtual power plant (VPP) aggregation and microgrid-forming.

Geli’s CEO Dan Loflin said his company was “tremendously excited about the acceleration Q CELLS is bringing to our business” and that Geli’s customers “see value in the strength of software offerings paired with industry leading PV and ESS, along with the support of a financially bankable and reliable brand like Q CELLS”. 

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