UniEnergy Technologies (UET), a leading energy storage solution provider, announced today a strategic equity investment by ORIX Corporation (NYSE: IX; TSE: 8591), a $19 billion global financial services company with strong operational alignment in the accelerating renewable energy and grid resiliency sectors. ORIX is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with operations spanning 36 countries and 30,000 employees. The initial Series B investment by ORIX, in which UET's current private equity investor is also participating, totals $25 million.
With this investment, UET will scale up production and expand business development and sales in North America and globally. UET has already commercialized the leading grid-scale flow battery energy storage solution available on the market today, the Uni.System™. In operation at multiple locations for more than a year and half, the deployed Uni.Systems have discharged back to their respective grids hundreds of megawatt-hours (MWh's). Customers to date include Avista Utilities, Energiespeicher Nord GmbH & Co. KG (with shareholders BWP Braderup-Tinningstedt and Robert Bosch GmbH), Mission Produce, NY Citywide Administration Services (NYDCAS), Snohomish Public Utility District, Terna, Viessmann Group, and an unannounced customer based in California and elsewhere. The investment will enable UET to leverage this growing market traction and further gain market share.
In Japan and world-wide, UET will partner closely with ORIX Corporation. Together, UET and ORIX plan to make available to utility, commercial & industrial, and microgrid customers a number of energy storage system procurement models.
UET's core patented technology is an advanced vanadium flow battery, with a new generation electrolyte first developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity. UET then improved and commercialized the technology as part of a larger corporate group now with a total of $300MM invested. UET will continue to be based near Seattle, WA, operating a 60,000 square foot engineering & manufacturing facility scaling up to produce 100 megawatts annually. Home of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and other leading technology companies, Washington is one of the recognized market leaders in energy storage in the U.S.
UET's CEO, Gary Yang, said: "With the strategic investment by ORIX and further funding by our current private equity investor, UET will now take its business to the next level. We will scale our production, with installed systems and orders totaling at present nearly 10MW and 40MWh. We will expand our business development, sales, and marketing teams, as well as offer financing capabilities and resources to our customers, as we meet the large and growing energy storage market in North America and throughout the world. UET will continue to focus first and foremost on meeting the needs of customers and delivering superior value to them."
ORIX's head of its Environment and Energy Services division, and Board Member of ORIX Corporation, Yuichi Nishigori, commented: "ORIX Corporation is a well-diversified financial institution with total assets of over USD $90 billion (JPY 11,443 billion), listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as well as NYSE. Among its businesses ranging from financial leasing to investment operations, organized in six business segments, Environment and Energy Services is one of the key businesses ORIX is keen to grow further as a core area in the future. ORIX is a major developer/operator of large-scale renewable projects in Japan, with 800 megawatts of solar capacity and 136 megawatts of wind capacity in operation or under development. We see grid-scale energy storage, exemplified by leading flow battery provider UET, as critical to the integration of renewables and the modernization of grids worldwide. Our plan is also to reach the distributed generation business – we are now actively providing battery storage rental service for household users in Japan. Following its strategic investment in UET, ORIX will continue to explore further investment opportunities and to scale up its energy business in the US market where we have been active since 1981."
Founded in 2012, UET provides turn-key, megawatt-scale energy storage solutions that simultaneously deliver both power and energy for utility, commercial/industrial, and microgrid applications. Those applications can be combined or "stacked" to provide maximum value to the customer. UET's solutions are differentiated by (i) an electrolyte with double the energy density, much broader temperature range than conventional vanadium, and 100% recyclability, (ii) a plug & play ISO containerized design with a compact footprint, (iii) proven, high-performance large-scale stacks with 15 years of development, 9 years of field deployment, and hundreds deployed, and (iv) state of the art controls with DNP3 protocols and power electronics supporting IEEE1547, the Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems. UET's water-based technology is operationally flexible, inherently safe, 20 year lifetime, reliable, and economically compelling. The Uni.System™ is the largest deployed flow battery in North America and Europe, supporting demand charge reduction, peak shaving, renewable integration, ramping, frequency and voltage regulation, and microgrid support.
About ORIX Corporation
ORIX Corporation (TSE: 8591; NYSE: IX) is a financial services group that provides innovative products and services to its customers by constantly pursuing new businesses. Established in 1964, from its start in the leasing business, ORIX has advanced into neighboring fields and at present has expanded into the lending, investment, life insurance, banking, asset management, automobile-related, real estate, and environment and energy-related businesses. Since its first overseas expansion into Hong Kong in 1971, ORIX has expanded its business globally by establishing locations in 36 countries across the world. Moving forward, ORIX aims to contribute to society while continuing to capture new business opportunities. For more details, please visit our website: http://www.orix.co.jp/grp/en/.