BP backs rapid-deployment solar tech firm 5B

5B aims to expand its operations internationally, with an eye toward U.S. manufacturing and assembly facilities. Image: 5B.

BP ventures, the investment platform of bp, has invested A$20 million (US$13.5 million) in Australian renewable energy company 5B to support the development and implementation of its 5B Maverick solar technology.

The investment completes 5B’s A$55 million (US$37 million) Series B round, which was co-led by investors AES Corporation and Artesian. The cash infusion from bp will be used to accelerate 5B’s international expansion and its plans to establish a manufacturing and assembly center in the US.

“5B’s innovative solar technology can quickly deliver low-cost power generation and help meet growing electricity demand. This deal is a great example of bp investing in businesses that support our growth engine for the renewable energy transition,” said bp Ventures said Johnathan Stone.

5B Maverick technology is a solar deployment method designed for rapid installation. It consists of up to 90 panels mounted on a foldable frame, and 5B says it has been deployed at more than 100 sites to date, with a total capacity of more than 60MW.

A 1.1MW system was deployed in one day at AES’ Andes Solar II B facility in Chile’s Atacama Desert with a team of 10, the company said.

5B has also confirmed plans to work with bp co-owned solar developer Lightsource bp to explore future opportunities to deploy 5B’s Maverick technology at Lightsource bp sites.

5B CEO and Co-Founder Chris McGrath said the financing deal “presents a great opportunity to deploy our 5B Maverick technology in a range of global markets. The backing of such an active and experienced venture capital team is Strong validation of our technology and capabilities to support bp’s transformation into an integrated energy company.”

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