Battery start-up RedEarth raises funding to cater to local demand

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Solar and battery start-up RedEarth Energy Storage has locked in $4.75 million in Series A funding from government, institutional and family investors. The Brisbane-based manufacturer plans to use the funding to expand its production of storage systems and tap into increasing demand from Australian households and businesses.

Founded in 2013 by the co-founder of ASX-listed RedFlow, Chris Winter, and Charles Walker, an investment banker and former head of corporate development at RedFlow, RedEarth is one of Australia’s first owned and operated domestic producers of energy storage systems for residential, commercial and industrial use.

In the next four years, the company aims to manufacture over $70 million worth of battery systems, as well as open the doors to a new Queensland innovation and production facility in September. “This funding marks the first step towards growing RedEarth into a sustainable and profitable Australian business in an emerging market that until now has been dominated by foreign companies with foreign products,” Walker said.

The manufacturer already has a range of products in its portfolio and plans to make significant reinvestments in additional research and development. “Our versatile battery systems range in size from small shed power systems to large containerised systems, capable of powering an entire cattle station,” Walker said.

The funding RedEarth announced on Wednesday comes from the Business Development Fund, alongside institutional and private investors. The $80 million fund was established by the Queensland Government to help businesses commercialise cutting-edge research, or innovative ideas, products and services. The first company to receive support through the fund was supplier of electric vehicle chargers Tritium.

This year alone, Australia is forecast to emerge as the world’s hottest market for residential storage, accounting for 30% of global demand. The nation’s storage demand is set to triple with over 70,000 Australian households expected to install battery storage, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Moving forward, around 450,000 energy storage systems could be installed in Australia by 2020 under a high growth scenario presented in the Australian Energy Storage Market Analysis by the Smart Energy Council last year.