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Terra One snaps $7.5M for large battery projects to power a whole city

Terra One founders
Picture credits: Terra One

While solar capacity is expanding and more wind turbines are being installed, the current electricity grid and storage capacities are inadequate, which prevents a full transition to renewable energy. In 2023, Germany lost 19 terawatt hours of energy (enough to power six million households) because of inefficient grid management and congestion. Without action, the numbers will increase in the medium term as more renewables come online. 

Berlin-based Terra One aims to solve the challenge through its network of decentralised battery storage projects, which charge when the proportion of renewable energy sitting in the grid is typically at its highest (during the day or at night when people are not making their breakfast or dinner). 

Helps transition to green energy 

Terra One just snapped $7.5 million in seed funding led by PT1, the early-stage VC for transformative real asset technologies that invested in Desana and NeoCarbon, with the support of neosfer, the early-stage investor of Commerzbank. 468 Capital, the first backers of Terra One that recently invested in goodcarbon and UserHub, also participated, alongside N26 co-founder Maximilian Tayenthal, serial entrepreneur Jan Beckers, and the scout funds of Andreessen Horowitz and Hedosophia. 

The company will use the funding to build its team, further develop its AI battery optimisation software and extend its project pipeline.

Decentralised battery storage projects

Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Tony Schumacher and Thomas Antonioli, the former CFO of sharing economy startup Grover, Terra One is aiming to help Europe achieve its climate goals and wean the continent off politically sensitive and non-renewable energy sources. Its method of storing and releasing energy reduces costs and makes sure no energy produced by renewable sources is lost. 

Terra One’s own AI foundation model has been optimised for energy market trading so it automatically charges and discharges in line with demand, production, and time. The company’s storage capacity will relieve grid congestion, a major hurdle to overcome which will help the world reach 100% green energy.

Efficient projects 

Terra Own’s current largest approved battery projects can power a city of 100,000 people for up to six hours and it has built up a pipeline of 300 projects with more than 20 Gigawatt hours (GWh). It takes 67,200 gallons of oil to produce just one Gwh of electricity. One Gigawatt of energy can power 100 million LED light bulbs and is equivalent to almost 2.5 million solar panels.

The company has secured nearly 300 sites to build storage facilities, positioning it as one of Europe’s largest storage operators. The company finances these projects through institutional and infrastructure investors attracted by promising potential returns and strong ESG credentials. 

Terra One co-founder, Thomas Antonioli, said: “We are very excited about this financing round, which will allow us to drive forward our vision of building Europe’s leading battery optimiser and thus make an essential contribution to achieving climate targets. Specifically, we will use the financing to further build our team and develop our revolutionary battery optimisation software and our project pipeline.”

Managing Partner of PT1, Nikolas Samios, said: “We have been involved in energy storage technologies for some time, as we know first-hand that infrastructure funds are just waiting to invest nine-to-ten figure sums in this area. After extensive screening of the European market, Terra One clearly proved to be the best team and the best technology for us. We believe that what Enpal and 1Komma5° have achieved in scaling the installation of solar systems will now also be achieved with Terra One for the development and operation of large battery storage systems in the grid.”

Senior Investment Manager at neosfer, Karim Menn, said: “Terra One’s team is equipped with the right competencies to succeed in the energy storage market: high speed, a deep understanding of the technology and their approach of vertical integration combined with operational excellence. Furthermore, synergies can be created between Terra One and Commerzbank Group’s asset management business, which is increasingly focussing on renewable energy and related infrastructure projects.”

Terra One co-founder, Tony Schumacher, said: “People outside the energy industry often have little idea of how much energy our projects can store. Our current largest approved battery projects can power a city of 100,000 people for up to six hours. That’s a huge capacity that makes it possible to compensate for fluctuations in renewable energy production on a large scale. We are building important infrastructure to enable the energy transition.”

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