Melbourne renewable technology group RayGen raises $50m as global opportunities beckon

Melbourne renewable technology group RayGen raises $50m as global opportunities beckon

RayGen’s CEO Richard Payne

Melbourne-based solar-and-storage technology company RayGen has raised more than $50 million in a Series D round supported by US-based technology group SLB and Breakthrough Victoria to expand its local manufacturing base and pursue a growing pipeline of offshore opportunities.

SLB, an oil and gas industry technology company that has turned its attention to new energy technology solutions, has invested US$20 million (A$31 million) in a follow-on investment from the Series C round by RayGen in 2021.

This SLB capital injection came on top of a $20 million investment by Breakthrough Victoria in the Series D round, with the state government investment arm joining existing investors Equinor Ventures, AGL Energy, Photon Energy Group, Chevron Technology Ventures and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), who all participated in the Series C.

The funds will be used by RayGen to accelerate its path to market, with Breakthrough Victoria keen on keeping the company’s manufacturing base in Victoria.

RayGen provides long-duration energy storage solutions through an integrated technology that transforms by-product heat from solar generation to on-demand electricity.

The company’s flagship project in Carwarp is the world’s largest operating next-generation thermal hydro long-duration energy storage project, capable of delivering 17 hours of continuous power to the electricity grid in north-west Victoria.

RayGen has been operating a solar technology test facility in Newbridge in central Victoria since 2015.

RayGen’s technology is said to achieve 70 per cent round-trip efficiency, which is much higher than other electro-thermal storage technologies on the market.

Proceeds from the latest capital raise will be used by RayGen to capitalise on a growing pipeline of international opportunities by expanding manufacturing, securing the supply chain and increasing automation for rapid project delivery.

Under a strategic deployment agreement announced today, SLB will help RayGen accelerate the commercialisation and deployment of its technology with international sales and engineering support to expand the pipeline of projects, manufacturing capacity and vendor network.

SLB operates in more than 100 countries with its New Energy business focused on fostering global scale deployment of technology for industrial decarbonisation and clean energy generation. The two companies have been working closely together since SLB participated in the Series C round.

“RayGen is thrilled by SLB’s extensive and deep support of our vision to accelerate the energy transition with our innovative solar and storage technology,” says RayGen’s CEO Richard Payne.

“As a world-leader in technology innovation and engineering, SLB will play an integral role in accelerating RayGen’s global impact.

“We are excited to strengthen our partnership with the SLB team across our operations as we continue to scale the business in preparation for RayGen’s expansion and deployment to global markets”.

Breakthrough Victoria says RayGen’s innovative solar PV and thermal water-based energy storage solution is “crucial to supporting the increasing penetration of intermittent renewable energy and the removal of fossil fuels-based energy”.

The new capital will allow RayGen to secure manufacturing capability and create additional engineering and manufacturing jobs in Victoria, as well as supporting the company’s growth in Victoria, nationally and internationally with leading domestic and international energy companies.

"We are investing in RayGen Resources because they focus on what Victoria needs – sustainability, scale and local manufacturing,” says Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley. “Their innovative energy storage technology will help us better transition to renewable energy."

Payne says Breakthrough Victoria is a “natural partner” for RayGen as the company scales its capabilities.

“We’re a Victorian-born company with global ambitions for dispatchable renewable energy generation and advanced manufacturing,” he says.

“Grant and the broader team at Breakthrough Victoria are natural partners for us as we embark on our growth journey and mission to accelerate the transition to renewable energy with our innovative technology.”

Rather than sourcing its proprietary solar modules from overseas, RayGen manufactures them in Victoria and the company plans to commission a new 170 MW per annum manufacturing facility in Hawthorn East.

"It’s great to see Victorian businesses taking the lead in new renewable energy technologies,” says Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio. “This innovative solar technology will reduce emissions, bring down power bills while creating skilled local jobs."

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