Lunar Energy, Founded by Former Tesla Energy Exec, Looks to Lead in Virtual Power Plants
A new energy company founded by a former top Tesla Energy exec just jumped out of stealth mode, and it has an interesting angle to help the ongoing clean energy transition speed up. Furthermore, showing a strong sign of technological innovation and usefulness, rooftop solar power giant Sunrun has just invested a big chunk of money into the company.
Former Senior Director & Head of Tesla Energy Kunal Girotra founded Lunar Energy just two years ago, in August 2020, and then also just acquired Moixa, “the leading global software company for distributed energy resources (DER) management.” Sunrun and SK Group have invested a total of $300 million into Lunar Energy. Investors also include ITOCHU and Honda, thanks to their previous investment in Moixa.
Their focus going forward seems to be on combining home energy storage systems in an efficient and easy-to-use way to create virtual power plants. But is it really that good? Well, if Sunrun’s team is impressed with it, I feel like it must be. “As an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for those rare opportunities where you can invest in exceptional people with a big vision,” said Lynn Jurich, Chair of Lunar Energy and co-founder, co-executive chair of Sunrun. “Kunal, and the engineering team at Lunar Energy, are building at scale home electrification products that will dramatically accelerate the switch from fossil fuels to renewables. I’m excited to see Sunrun, and the industry at large, begin offering Lunar Energy solutions to millions of homes across the nation.”
Worldwide, Lunar Energy has almost 250 employees, and the company says that most of them are engineers — hardware, firmware, or software engineers. They are based out of Mountain View, California, and London, UK.
“More than ever, we need rapid adoption of renewable energy solutions across all sectors to mitigate climate change,” says Kunal Girotra, Founder and CEO of Lunar Energy. “Lunar Energy was founded to build affordable hardware and software products for the residential sector to help homeowners generate, store and consume 100% clean energy and remove the usage of fossil fuels from every home. The first offering of our product ecosystem is a next-generation home battery system. It’s the first step towards our mission to electrify all homes and connect communities to form clean, resilient virtual power plants — freeing us from power outages, rising energy costs and harmful emissions.”
Another testament to Lunar Energy’s potential is the fact that SK Group is now a major shareholder. SK Innovation, underneath the huge SK Group umbrella, is one of the largest battery producers in the world. SK Group knows energy storage. “The SK Group is committed to the worldwide energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables and our investment in Lunar Energy is part of that ongoing commitment,” said Ian Huh, Executive Vice President, SK E&S. “We believe that Lunar has the potential to revolutionize how homes across the US and the world use renewable power for both their own needs and also serve the needs of the broader power grid.”
We are sure to have more news from Lunar Energy before too long. Its first product is supposed to be revealed later this year.
I know that we are low on technological info regarding Lunar Energy thus far. That’s what happens when a company doesn’t have a product on the market yet. However, we have a bit more information regarding what Moixa was up to prior to the acquisition. “In acquiring UK-based software leader Moixa, Lunar will combine revolutionary new hardware with the proven GridShare™ software that manages the thousands of batteries across Europe and Japan. Currently, GridShare software — now Lunar Gridshare™ — is deployed at scale across 35,000 homes (330MWh of batteries) via ITOCHU in Japan, supports advanced smart charging services for Honda electric vehicles, and facilitated UPS’s transition to electric vehicle fleets in the UK.”
“From our early patents in smart homes to managing the world’s largest single fleet of home batteries, our Gridshare software has led the industry for more than 10 years and significantly advanced smart home charging,” said Simon Daniel, CEO and co-founder of Moixa. “In joining Lunar Energy, we have the exciting opportunity to pursue even greater scale for Gridshare by aggregating larger fleets of batteries across the world to better manage clean energy intelligently for homeowners and businesses.”
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