May 17, 2016

Seed capital for off-grid renewable leaders SteamaCo

1 min
SteamaCo, a market leader in technology for managing off-grid renewable energy networks in emerging markets, has completed a £640,000 seed capi...

SteamaCo, a market leader in technology for managing off-grid renewable energy networks in emerging markets, has completed a £640,000 seed capital round with the help of London’s ClearlySo impact investment bank.   

SteamaCo plans to use the funding to expand access to its smart metering and data analytics technology that enables electricity providers – from mini grid operators to agricultural irrigation businesses – to reach up to 1.3 billion people living beyond the grid.

To date, the company has built more than 30 rural micro grids in developing nations and currently operates 70 percent of Kenya’s micro grid market.

Its universal smart meter technology allows any company to operate like a utility – monitoring performance and operating machinery remotely and collecting cashless payments on a per-unit basis.  

Tamsin Chislett, Investment Manager at ClearlySo, said: “We are extremely proud to have advised SteamaCo on their recent successful investment raise.  SteamaCo's metering technology is critical for the growth of the renewable off-grid energy sector in emerging markets, and their innovation will give more people access to reliable, green, and affordable energy than ever before. 

“This is a business that truly serves people and planet as well as profits – and is exactly the kind ClearlySo and our investor network seeks to support.”

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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