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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Finnish Cactos grabs €26 million to power up expansion of smart energy storage systems

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Helsinki-based smart energy storage systems developer Cactos has successfully raised over €26 million in equity investments, with leading contributions from OP Finland Infrastructure LP and the Finnish Climate Fund. Specializing in providing behind-the-meter smart energy storage systems, Cactos aims to optimize local consumption, improve grid resilience, and engage in grid-level operations. The company plans to utilize the funds, part of a larger €70 million capital goal, with €35 million in equity and €35 million in debt, to significantly expand its battery energy storage system portfolio over the next two and a half years. This expansion aligns with the company’s commitment to supporting the energy transition, investing in infrastructure, and addressing the demand for grid services and flexibility.

Cactos, a Helsinki-based company with its Research and Development (R&D) and Production facilities situated in Muhos, originated from the collaborative efforts of a group of adept energy and software professionals based in Northern Ostrobothnia in 2018. Originally designated as NGSESS (New Generation Smart Energy Storage System), the team, under the leadership of Olli, endeavored to coin a more memorable name that encapsulated the essence of their work. Drawing inspiration from the robust adaptability of a cactus, characterized by its resilience, fortitude, and efficient resource storage, the name Cactos was chosen, infused with a hint of Ancient Greek influence. Unlike its arid habitat namesake, Cactos has firmly established its roots in Helsinki.

“We established Cactos Fleet Finland LP because the energy transition requires significant investment in infrastructure, especially in assets capable of participating in demand response and grid services. Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are an excellent way to create more flexibility in consumption, as well as balance the grid as a whole. But smart energy storage units can do much more – that’s why Cactos Fleet Finland LP provides best-in-class behind-the-meter smart energy storage systems on a lease basis to clients who can utilize them to optimise local consumption and production, ensure resilience of electricity supply as well as to participate in grid level operations, such a frequency balancing,” says Cactos founder and CEO Oskari Jaakkola.

The company’s smart energy storage systems are installed in premises where they offer clients a hedge against price volatility, level out local demand peaks, offer backup power, and optimize the use of the property’s own electricity production, where applicable. Together, all units owned by Cactos Fleet Finland LP are aggregated through Cactos proprietary software platform, Cactos Spine, to create a large virtual battery that supports the stability of the transmission system. This supports and enables the growth in renewable energy by balancing generation and consumption, and provides revenue for the company and clients.

“Large housing, real estate, and logistics companies need solutions to tackle, for example, large energy consumption peaks caused by simultaneous charging of multiple electric vehicles and to protect themselves from electricity market volatility. An energy storage unit together with our cloud computing service, Cactos Spine, automatically optimizes these functions,” Jaakkola explains.

The current financing round enables the large-scale deployment of smart energy storage systems. In December 2023, the company owned approximately 50 Cactos One battery energy storage units, and thanks to the latest financing, its portfolio will grow to more than one thousand units in the coming years. The largest system currently owned by the company is a 2.5 MWh Cactos One energy storage system installed in a logistic center in Tuusula, Finland.

All energy storage units owned by Cactos Fleet Finland Limited Partnership are developed and manufactured by Cactos. The models include the Cactos One Classic unit made from second-life Tesla EV batteries and the first-life lithium iron phosphate battery-based Cactos One Cardo. All units are automated by the Cactos Spine cloud system.

“The growth in weather-dependent electricity generation has also increased the volatility of the electricity markets and the need for energy storage. We are happy to be able to work together with Cactos to offer solutions that benefit the customers and simultaneously improve the stability of the entire electricity grid,” says Tuomo Urrila from OP Finland Infrastructure LP.

“The green transition requires the electrification of all sectors of society. As domestic electricity demand and highly weather-dependent renewable energy production increase, local infrastructure supporting clean electricity production will be a critical factor for the success of the future energy system. What’s interesting about Cactos’ investment company is that the energy storage systems are offered to the customers with a service model and can therefore be put into use quickly,” says Toni Mikkonen, interim CEO of the Finnish Climate Fund.

The company’s customer base includes the logistics company Logitri Oy, Ahola Group Oy, Heka Oy, and Keskusosuuskunta Oulun Seudun Sähkö. In particular, large logistics companies and vehicle charging stations are interested in smart energy storage systems, as the electrification of transportation requires investments in charging infrastructure. In addition, the increase in the production of solar power, together with the fluctuation of electricity market prices, has increased the demand for electricity storage systems that can smartly store and release stored solar energy when needed.

Click to read more funding news.

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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