AES makes strategic investment in ‘plug and play’ solar manufacturer 5B

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5B's Maverick solution in action. Image: 5B.

Energy tech company AES has made a strategic investment in 5B, an Australian energy start-up that manufactures modular ‘plug and play’ solar solutions.

5B recently closed a AU$12 million Series A investment round that sourced financing from AES amongst others. That investment will now be used to fund the global rollout of 5B’s Maverick solution, platform and ecosystem.

AES will also now begin to deploy the solution across solar projects it is bringing forward, starting with Panama. AES will use Maverick to “fast-track” the delivery of a 2MW solar farm in Panama later this year, before also utilising it as part of an expansion at the 10MW Los Andes solar facility it operates in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

The Maverick solution is comprised of module mounts arranged in a concertina shape at a 10 degree tilt. The mounts are pre-fabricated in a factory before being rapidly deployed on site, and can comprise 40 – 90 PV modules. They claim to accommodate any standard framed 60 or 72-cell PV module.

The principle benefit of the system is purported to be quicker and simpler deployment of ground-mounted solar. 5B claims that using the solution, a single team can deploy in excess of 200kW of solar per day.

Chris McGrath, co-founder and CEO at 5B, said the offering was “defining the next generation for solar power”.

“5B has successfully demonstrated the power of our Maverick solution in the Australian market and now AES is bringing its strength to bear as we scale our solution globally and continue to unlock its full potential.” 

5B’s target is to deploy gigawatts of the Maverick solution globally, and the company intends to tap into AES’ track record of global renewables deployment to help reach that aim.

 “The potential of the partnership we have formed is hugely exciting and palpable to all involved: AES share our vision for a clean energy future and the significance of 5B’s contribution to this, they are incredibly well placed to accelerate us on this mission – across its access to capital, global pipeline of projects and customers, depth of sophistication and experience in the market and portfolio of world leading technology businesses, and critically, we enjoy a genuine and strong resonance between our values,” McGrath added.

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