Primus Power, Inc.has secured $20 million in the first close of its Series C financing. South Africa-based resource developer, Anglo American Platinum Limited, the world’s leading primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), led the round with a major contribution from its PGM Development Fund. Primus has pioneered a new class of safe, low-cost, grid-scale electrical energy-storage solutions. The Company’s zinc-based flow battery systems decouple instantaneous electricity demand from supply, bolstering the stability and security of the electric grid, and helping accelerate the penetration of wind and solar energy with superior economics compared to conventional solutions.
Primus has now raised $35 million in equity funding since its founding in mid-2009. The Company has also received strategic government grants totaling $20 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and the California Energy Commission (CEC).
Richard Willis of the PGM Development Fund joins Primus’ Board of Directors. Existing investors also participated alongside PGM Development Fund. The new money supports 2014 customer shipments, transitioning the Company’s manufacturing to a contract manufacturer, and expanding its sales and customer support organizations.
The timing is excellent. Commercialization of Primus’ EnergyPod® containerized storage arrays is already underway. In the next year Primus will ship systems to investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and microgrids at military bases. These shipments are an indicator of the increasing global demand for grid-scale energy storage, which is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of greater than 30% before 2020. At that point, the worldwide market size is estimated at $21.9 billion. Momentum is especially strong in California, thanks in part to a recent mandate by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that requires investor-owned utilities to procure 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2020.
Andrew Hinkly, Anglo American Platinum’s Executive Head of Marketing, called Primus Power’s solutions a game changer. “The EnergyPod® is a safe, low cost, power dense and ultra-reliable energy storage solution that installs rapidly. It is a differentiated product for mass deployment that integrates thoughtful design and utility-grade construction into a product that adds value at numerous locations along the electrical grid. This is a strategic investment for Anglo American Platinum. It is both good for business and for the environment.”
“Anglo American Platinum’s support is a welcome endorsement of our strategy, products and team,” said Primus Power’s CEO, Tom Stepien. “Beyond the investment, Anglo American Platinum is a valued partner and, as Primus expands internationally, they will provide a beachhead on the African continent. The new funds from Anglo American Platinum and other investors will help us accelerate our customer deliveries, grow our internal team and expand our product offerings.”