Digital Solar Solutions Startup Terabase Raises US$6M Series A

Terabase aims to lower solar power prices to $0.01 per kilowatt-hour by 2025

Digital solar solutions startup Terabase Energy has secured US$6 million in a Series A funding round led by SJF Ventures, with follow-on investments from Powerhouse Ventures, City Light Capital and Trancoso Partners, the startup announced in a press release yesterday.

“This investment will allow us to continue to expand our team and enable our customers to more efficiently and rapidly deploy low-cost solar,” remarked Terabase CEO Matt Campbell.

“Getting wholesale solar power costs below one cent per kilowatt-hour is vital to expanding the global applications for solar power and to addressing the global climate crisis,” he added.

Founded in 2019 by a group of solar energy veterans and former SunPower employees, Terabase provides proprietary software, automation and digital deployment solutions for global utility-scale solar projects.

The U.S.- and Australia-based startup works with engineering, procurement and construction firms, developers and independent power producers across 5 continents, and is on a mission to drive down solar power prices below $0.01 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2025, the statement noted.

Terabase works with global companies and aims to reduce the costs of development, construction, and operation of large-scale solar power plant projects across the globe by digitalizing the plants, according to the statement.

Global solar projects face problems with site constraints, while developers struggle to manage huge amounts of data and maintain version control for the designs, the startup said.

Terabase’s collaborative, cloud-based platform creates a 3D digital twin for the solar projects in development to help companies manage data, while the startup’s engineering team offers optional services tailored to fit each project’s specific requirements, the statement noted.

According to the startup, the Terabase platform is currently being used by 200 companies to develop solar power plans in 28 countries.

“SJF’s mission is to support high-growth, positive-impact ventures and Terabase is a perfect fit,” said Dave Kirkpatrick, Managing Director at SJF Ventures. “It is rare for us to be able to back such a veteran team.”

SJF has a history of backing solar companies including NEXTracker and groSolar, both of which exited through acquisition, along with Community Energy, which develops clean-tech projects.

“Terabase’s novel, digital approach delivers value to these massive solar projects and will accelerate solar’s replacement of coal and gas generation around the world,” Kirkpatrick added.

As concerns around climate change and the need for renewable energy gains traction, the high costs associated with alternative energy remain a barrier to market adoption. According to a report by Electricity Markets and Policy, the utility-scale solar sector in the U.S. generated nearly 60% of all new solar capacity in 2018.

Moreover, the report states that the cost of wholesale market value of solar energy and capacity in the U.S. has fallen consistently since 2013, fueled by a drop of almost 70% in solar power installation prices since 2010.

In fact, an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report states that the cost of utility-scale solar power has gone down by 82% since 2010, with solar electricity costs from utility-scale solar projects reaching nearly seven cents ($0.068) per kWh in 2019, indicating that Terabase is close to achieving its low-price objective.

While the demand for solar power has been increasing consistently, a report by the International Energy Agency indicates that the global pandemic and the subsequent movement restrictions and lockdowns have delayed utility-scale solar projects across the globe. These delays are now expected to trickle down to 2021, resulting in a rebound of 12% next year.

Header image by Anders Jacobsen on Unsplash

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