Jan 11, 2021

Restart Energy inks JV with Interlink Capital Strategies

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Partnership will spur US$500m green energy investment in Romania and provide US access to innovative blockchain electricity trading platform
Partnership will spur US$500m green energy investment in Romania and provide US access to innovative blockchain electricity trading platform...

Restart Energy, one of the largest independent suppliers of electricity and natural gas in Romania, has entered into a joint venture with Interlink Capital Strategies to develop US$500 million dollars in green energy in Romania and neighboring countries as well as to expand into the US market through an innovative blockchain electricity trading platform.

The investment for Romania will finance the acquisition and development plans of 500MW of renewable energy projects by the end of 2025. Restart Energy, which plans to acquire and develop 100MW of solar, wind, biogas, biomass, and geothermal energy projects per year, will seek annual investments of approximately $100 million with Interlink acting as a strategic funding advisor.

The two companies decided to further strengthen their relationship by becoming partners for expanding the Restart Energy business into the American market by launching together in USA the Restart Energy Democracy (RED) platform, an online energy trading platform based on blockchain technology that allows peer to peer transfers between energy producers and final consumers, launch a fully digital energy business franchise and carbon credits system for renewable energy production and consumption. 

The RED Platform was launched in 2019, initially in Romania Restart Energy's home market where it  has the highest customer base of approximately 30,000 household customers and 5,000 corporate customers.

“This partnership will provide access to US capital and accelerate Restart Energy’s goal of providing 1 Bil. KWh of clean and affordable renewable energy for 300,000 consumers in Romania and Europe by 2025.  

Armand Domuţa, CEO and founder of Restart Energy, said the joint venture will enable it to help reduce the carbon footprint with 750m Kg CO2 per year and at the same time, become the first fully sustainable energy supplier in Romania delivering 100 percent locally produced green energy to its customers, while also allowing Restart Energy to enter the US market "with its innovative blockchain platform, where we will have access to a mature and technology-oriented market".

Alan Beard, Interlink’s Managing Director, said Restart Energy is an innovative company at the forefront of combining renewable energy supply and marketing through technology, vision and purpose, making renewable energy more available and accessible to all. 

"What attracted us to this partnership is not only RED - a proven platform based on blockchain technology - but the entrepreneurs and their purpose-driven vision of improving access and proliferation of renewable energy, which is compatible with Interlink’s mission. The RED business model will bring to the USA a new, and improved approach to how renewable energy is financed, produced, and consumed which we believe will improve access to renewable energy, and ultimately benefit our climate."

In parallel, the investment in the Restart Energy’s plans in Europe will allow it to develop additional renewable energy assets, especially since Restart is already active in Romanian and Serbian markets with intention to expand this year in Germany and Spain, added Beard.

This partnership will be operated through Restart Energy Innovative Technologies AG (REIT AG), a Swiss-based holding company and ecosystem of innovation that funds, researches, and develops energy-tech ventures part of Restart Energy group of companies.

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Aug 2, 2021

Financing rises in digital platforms and renewables projects

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Recent financing deals involving Cold Bore Technology and Soltage underline the importance of digital platforms and renewables

Cold Bore Technology has closed $14M in growth financing in a round that was led by bp ventures with participation from the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF).  

Cold Bore is leading a shift in the completions (fracking) industry towards safer, more autonomous operations by providing oil & gas companies with SmartPAD, a centralised fully integrated software and hardware platform designed to collect, analyse, and report data. Better utilisation of this data unlocks operators’ ability to make improvements across all KPIs.

Results from a recent SmartPAD implementation with Hibernia Resources, saw the Permian-based producer able to reduce the duration of their completions program by 15 days (27%), with commensurate reductions in cost and emissions.

Along with this investment from bp ventures, bp will be deploying Cold Bore’s SmartPAD in bpx energy’s US onshore operations. The technology will support bpx’s efforts to continuously improve its operations.

“The oil & gas industry has realised that technological innovation is key to meeting growing calls for reduced emissions and improved returns. Cold Bore is proud to be playing a leadership role in the future of oil & gas operations.” said Brett Chell, Co-founder & President at Cold Bore Technology.

“As we scale to meet incredible demand, we’re excited to have a strong strategic partner in bp, a forward-thinking international energy company, and to play a part in helping bp reach its carbon and operational targets. The future of the oil & gas industry is autonomous operations."

Existing investors include the Rice Investment Group (RIG), a $200M multi-strategy, energy sector investment fund.

Another company in the spotlight last week was Soltage, a leading independent renewable power producer, which has raised a $130M debt facility led by Silicon Valley Bank. The investment will finance a 110MW national portfolio of projects across North Carolina, South Carolina, Maine, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland.

The construction of this portfolio will be staged over the next three quarters, with construction currently underway on ten projects across four states. Customers purchasing electricity from the projects financed through this debt vehicle include Investor Owned Utilities buying power under Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) contracts, community solar subscribers and corporations purchasing power from the portfolio to meet clean energy goals and lower energy costs.

Silicon Valley Bank is the Sole Coordinating Lead Arranger of the debt facility with three other banks included as lenders. This facility includes an optional $100M expansion feature to finance additional projects beyond the current set of identified projects. This announcement marks the latest development for the Soltage Iris capital vehicle, following Soltage and Harrison Street's $250M commitment in March to deliver 450MW of new solar, solar+storage and standalone storage development across the US.

"Soltage continues to provide stable investment opportunities for capital providers who are looking for bankable approaches to sustainable infrastructure investment," said Sripradha Ilango, Soltage CFO. "We are pleased to continue to bring to market high quality project portfolios that open avenues for corporations, utilities and families to adopt solar power and achieve decarbonisation priorities."

"We are at a critical point where funding domestic infrastructure to bring more clean energy online in the United States is of the utmost importance," said Bret Turner, Market Manager at Silicon Valley Bank. "Our team is proud to work with Soltage to support building these essential zero carbon energy projects in key locations across the country."

This announcement is part of a continued movement of mainstream investors looking to solar and other renewable infrastructure assets for long-term investment opportunities. Soltage has deployed over $1B into clean energy assets across the US since its founding in 2005.

SVOLT Energy Technology Co., a leading EV battery manufacturer, held a B Round Financing Transaction Ceremony in Changzhou, Jiangsu on July 28. Following the completion of A Round Financing of RMB 3.5 billion ($538 million) at the end of February, the company rapidly closed this third round of market-based equity funding, raising a total amount of RMB 10.28 billion ($1.58 billion).

Last month also saw Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, complete term financing for Sun Streams 2, its 200 MWdc solar project in Maricopa County, Arizona. Longroad owns 100 percent of the project after acquiring it in early 2021 from First Solar, the original developer.

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