Cleanwatts to get up to €25M to grow renewable energy communities

  • Lusa
  • 7 July 2022

The company will receive an investment of up to €25 million from Verdane, a European investor specialising in technology companies focused on the sustainable economy.

Cleanwatts, a technology company from Coimbra, will receive up to €25 million after completing an international investment round with the aim of growing its renewable energy communities around the world.

The company, which specialises in energy management software and renewable energy communities (RECs), will receive an investment of up to €25 million from Verdane, a European investor specialising in technology companies focused on the sustainable economy, which has more than €4 billion of invested or uninvested capital in its various funds, Cleanwatts said on Thursday in a press release sent to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

According to the technology company, this international investment round was “the largest [of its type] Series A ever heard of in a Portuguese company”.

With the investment now raised, Cleanwatts hopes to “accelerate and expand its presence in target markets, enter countries with policies and legal frameworks that allow the activation of local energy markets and continue to develop Cleanwatts OS [operating system that allows the management and optimization of RECs] to anticipate the changing needs of the energy transition.

The technology company operates in Portugal, Italy, Spain and the United States and has distributors in Brazil and Japan.

In view of the partnership with Verdane, Cleanwatts will also assess “possibilities of mergers and acquisitions that add value to the company’s proposal”, estimating to increase the number of employees by about 50% in the next six to 12 months (40 more people in Europe and the United States), to meet the “growing market demand”.

According to the press release, the Coimbra-based company saw its annual revenue grow 65% in 2021 and estimates it will grow more than 200% in 2022.

At the moment, the technology company is in the process of building more than 80 energy communities and manages and controls two Terawatt-hours of energy (equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 500,000 homes).

With Cleanwatts’ renewable energy communities, using the installation of photovoltaic panels, members of these RECs “can reduce their medical energy costs by up to 60%”, it stressed.

“To eliminate the difficulties and complexity of setting up RECs, Cleanwatts complements its digital offering with a no-cost investment proposition for customers, with the company taking full responsibility for the installation and maintenance of the necessary solar photovoltaic capacity, energy storage systems, electric car charging infrastructure or other electrification systems,” it explained, noting that RECs can include residential, business or public institutions such as municipalities, schools and hospitals.

“We are very proud of this partnership with Verdane, which will allow us to address the rapid paradigm shift towards a decarbonised, decentralised, more efficient and resilient electricity grid,” said two of Cleanwatts’ co-founders, Michael Pinto and Basílio Simões, quoted in the press release.

Verdane’s managing director, Bjarne Kveim Lie, said the fund was impressed “with Cleanwatts’ potential to provide a global solution to a local problem where tens of millions of families in the US and UK have to give up food and medicine to pay energy bills or have no electricity for some periods of the year.