A startup that turns old Telsa Inc batteries into 'smart' energy storage systems, has raised €2.5mln to speed its growth. Cactos, which is based in Finland, said it has developed a way to give old electric vehicle (EV) batteries "new life" by turning them into storage units, using its proprietary cloud-based software to optimise energy consumption, provide uninterrupted power, hedge against market volatility, and provide demand response to national electricity grids. The new funds, which were raised from the issue of new shares and debt, will be used to increase energy storage unit production, double the size of its production facility in early 2023 and for planned international projects. With current production said to be at maximum capacity, the company said the increase in its factory size will allow for nearly a 10-fold expansion in unit production. Still in its first year of operation, Cactos said it is seeing "unprecedented demand" for its products as Europe faces the energy crisis following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the energy transition. It is providing units for big organisations in Finland, including power company Oomi and Helsinki City Housing Company (Heka Oy), the country's largest residential property owner. The equity and debt round was led by Helsinki-based venture capital firm Superhero Capital as a new investor, while Cactos’s founders also participated. Co-founder and chief executive Oskari Jaakkola said the first year of operation saw the company bring to market “one of the world’s most advanced energy storage systems. Following the roll-out, market demand for our product has been exceptionally strong, and the funding we raised will help us to fully respond to this demand." He said as well as the difficult coming winter for Europe, “the longer-term outlook with energy transition and temporal imbalance in supply and demand means there is a huge need for demand response and different ways to store energy”. Easily accessible energy storage The founders' target was to create an energy storage solution that is “carefree for the user and easily accessible”, Jaakkola said, which the company believes it has succeeded in doing, as the Cactos One unit “requires no upfront investment and operates independently”. To produce a 100kWh energy storage unit, the old Tesla EV battery modules are disassembled, inspected and tested at the firm's factory in Muhos, northern Finland, before being converted into customer-ready product. Reusing EV batteries makes them “one of the market's most environmentally friendly energy storage units”, the company said, as well as providing an end-of-life solution for the electrification of transport and the promotion of a circular economy. Like most household energy storage units, they can help stabilise the transmission grid by balancing supply and demand; when there is a shortage of electricity, the units automatically discharge energy into the grid, and if there is excess production, the units absorb energy. At 100 kWh, the units enable a consistent energy supply through usage peaks or blackouts and with the optimisation software maximising the benefit of lower electricity prices.
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