Norwegian startup, Glint Solar, has constructed a SaaS platform to assist builders establish robust contenders for ground-based (or floating) photo voltaic initiatives with the purpose of supporting a fast-growing business to spin up a robust pipeline of initiatives as a requirement to speed up the shift to renewable vitality continues.
Co-founder and COO, Even Kvelland, tells us its method attracts on satellite tv for pc imagery, authorities (and different) data-sets, in addition to making use of machine studying and different algorithms, to supply prospects with assessments of the dangers and prices of potential photo voltaic installations.
Its software program as a service platform can be utilized to mannequin prices and dangers for ground-based photo voltaic installations however can be in a position to assess mission viability for a rising area of interest of floating photo voltaic parks, akin to photo voltaic installations sited in dams and reservoirs.
Since launch, again in March 2020, Kvelland says Glint Photo voltaic has onboarded 14 prospects in markets world wide, together with Northern Europe, Asia and North and South America, with a variety of enormous and small builders tapping in to its one-stop-shop for assessing attainable photo voltaic initiatives — identify checking the likes of Scatec, Fortum and TotalEnergies ++ as amongst its first wave of signal ups.
“What we’ve spent the final two years doing since we began the corporate is to grasp what are the primary obstacles [to solar energy projects]. And it’s turn into fairly clear that the most important headache for the core buyer, photo voltaic builders — these firms truly constructing the parks — is that they’re struggling to construct their mission pipelines, so getting sufficient initiatives [lined up],” he tells Nob6. “What we’re doing is we’re going into the early phases — serving to them each establish and analyze potential mission areas.”
The platform permits prospects to look by way of “tens of hundreds” of attainable mission areas, per Kvelland — whittling their choices all the way down to “excellent” prospects, based mostly on its potential to carry out price evaluation and spot points which may in any other case create main issues (and even derail a mission) down the road.
“We run or permit our prospects to run preliminary technical and monetary evaluation after which spend the time on these initiatives the place you’ll be able to optimize the probabilities for achievement,” is how he sums up the core operate.
Lowering time to construct a photo voltaic set up is one touted profit however the utility of the software is broader, per Kvelland, who says it may — for instance — assist a buyer discover and notice the worth of an (in any other case) missed web site.
The SaaS platform is ready to analyze elements akin to obtainable photo voltaic radiation and proximity to key infrastructure, akin to capability within the grid for connecting to initiatives — which Kvelland notes is a “enormous Capex driver”.
It additionally considers social and environmental laws, in addition to different bodily elements — like shading on a web site; excessive climate; or the elevation or slope of the land, amongst others — to feed its modelling.
For floating photo voltaic, it’s in a position to assist mission scoping by analyzing underwater options — such because the depth of the water and whether or not there’s a rocky or easy backside — which might influence mission capex and opex prices (since floating photo voltaic rigs sometimes should be anchored so the deeper the physique of water the extra pricey which may be, for instance).
“Right here we’ve been making an attempt to detect each the kinds of pure vs artifical our bodies of water utilizing machine studying and in addition the bathymetry — so principally the underwater topography utilizing a variety of satellite tv for pc imageries and how a lot mild is penetrating by way of the water after which mirrored again,” he explains. “It’s complicated — there are a number of folks if any on this planet who’ve efficiently actually constructed an excellent mannequin in order that’s a part of the issue we’re engaged on.”
Glint Photo voltaic’s final purpose is to assist prospects discover extra useful websites for photo voltaic installations at a time when competitors for such websites is on the rise as demand for renewables retains stepping up.
“In opposition to the backdrop of, already, the vitality transition [away from fossil fuels] but additionally — particularly in Europe now with Ukraine and Germany and different international locations doubling down on renewables — we’re seeing they actually now have to get began a lot faster and having extra initiatives by way of the funnel to appreciate the perfect ones,” says Kvelland.
“On the macro aspect, we’re seeing photo voltaic would possibly enhance one thing like 24%-25% year-on-year till 2030 so I feel we’re positively in a booming market and we’re capturing — at the moment — worth on the very starting after which… I feel there’s a complete host of further values we are able to supply [our customers] both later within the worth chain or in different verticals down the highway, with wind or battery storage. So it’s a big market that we’re aiming for,” he provides.
Demonstrating the worth of its product is more likely to take time — because it’s nonetheless early days for Glint Photo voltaic’s prospects to progress the photo voltaic initiatives they’ve used the software to scope and prioritize. However Kvelland notes that “a number of” have taken the insights they gleaned from utilizing the software program to the “subsequent stage” — which he says means they’re both within the negotiation course of with the landowner/water proprietor or are doing extra detailed engineering work or are within the final levels of mission finance.
“We anticipate that hopefully later this 12 months we’ll see a few of the first initiatives coming on-line,” he provides.
Glint Photo voltaic is asserting a $3 million seed funding increase which it says can be used to scale the enterprise — with a plan to increase into new international locations but additionally develop its buyer base in key markets in Europe and the US. Therefore it’s planning to double the dimensions of its workforce over the subsequent 12 months because it gears as much as capitalize on the scramble to construct out photo voltaic crops.
Buyers within the seed spherical embrace sustainability targeted Momentum, early stage Norwegian fund, Wiski Capital and cleantech and vitality investor Statkraft Ventures, in addition to some current shareholders.
Commenting in a press release, Hilde Støle Pettersen, managing accomplice at Momentum, stated: “We now have adopted the Glint workforce for the reason that firm’s inception and all the time preferred their concept of accelerating the photo voltaic revolution by way of useful perception. With their early business traction and the incredible workforce they’re constructing, we now discovered the timing to be proper. We sit up for supporting the workforce within the years to come back in collaboration with very robust co-investors.”
The startup beforehand went by way of the Antler accelerator in Oslo — taking in some pre-seed funding through that program.
Kvelland additionally recounts the way it acquired an early ‘chilly name’ from a US-based personal fairness fund, through LinkedIn, which was keen to take a position (unusually so, given how early stage the enterprise — but it surely’s presumably projecting main progress in photo voltaic). So, in all, he says it had raised ~$700k in exterior funding previous to the seed spherical, not together with funds put it by the founders as they bootstrapped to get the SaaS enterprise off the bottom.
The enterprise mannequin it’s utilizing is an easy, company-wide, annual per market licensing mannequin at this stage, per Kvelland.
On the competitors entrance, he says Glint Photo voltaic’s deal with the early part of photo voltaic initiatives offers it an edge — arguing there’s comparatively little consideration at that finish of the photo voltaic worth chain.
However he’s in a position to level to some US-based opponents — naming the likes of veteran information administration software program agency, TerraBase; and GeoCF, a software program platform which he says was acquired by a photo voltaic developer searching for to make use of the capabilities in-house, as providing comparable providers.
Different competitors comes from extra generalist tech instruments and/or consultancy corporations, he suggests.
“Usually at the moment it’s a variety of rudimentary instruments. From folks actually Google Maps making an attempt to guess what’s probably an excellent mission space to working with legacy consulting engineering corporations getting inbound from farmers. So what we’re making an attempt to do is lastly give the builders a pro-active software that permits them to a lot sooner display a really excessive variety of websites in opposition to a variety of totally different variables after which take the knowledge that sometimes at the moment may need been one thing you assess later within the mission stage — [and] deliver that into the early evaluation.
“As a result of what we maintain listening to from the photo voltaic builders is that they oftentimes uncover one thing later that possibly — worse case — breaks the mission so that they have to start out from scratch so we wish to give them as a lot related perception as early as attainable.”