MetroElectro, a climate tech startup based in Australia, has secured AUD 1.04 million ($680,000) from Singapore-based climate tech venture builder Wavemaker Impact to develop mid-sized renewable power plants.

MetroElectro said in a statement on Tuesday that the funding propels the firm towards its goal of unlocking the vast potential of commercial and industrial (C/I) distributed energy resources (DER).

The pre-seed funding will allow the company to move to the next phase of developing a number of pilot projects in a premium industrial park in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, and unlocking further funding opportunities to drive the decarbonization of the Australian electricity grid.

MetroElectro is targeting the AUD 672 billion ($442 billion) market for C/I renewable energy in Australia and beyond, with a vision to reach AUD 100 million ($65.84 million) in revenue and abate 100 million tons of carbon dioxide in the near future.

“Our mission to build a portfolio of companies that can decarbonize 10 percent of global carbon emissions compelled us to look at Australia and see it as one of the most advanced markets in innovation and commitment to reaching climate goals,” said Marie Cheong, Wavemaker Impact Founding Partner.

“MetroElectro embodies how we see our vision come to life in this market and its role in decarbonizing our future,

“We look forward to the success Lloyd will bring in Australia and beyond in the next few years,” she added.

MetroElectro is a pioneering renewable energy company focused on unlocking the vast potential of commercial and industrial rooftops.

The firm was founded by veteran digital business entrepreneur Lloyd Heinrich.

It developed its innovative solution through collaborating with industry experts, investors, and businesses in the C/I sector.

With an ambitious target of 82 percent renewable power generation by 2030, the firm noted that Australia finds itself behind target and needs to deploy renewables at pace.

Despite this, delays in approvals, waning community support and the massive cost of improving transmission networks have constrained grid scale renewables projects, it said.

According to MetroElectro, there are currently about 16 gigawatts of small scale residential rooftop solar and about 7 gigawatts of grid scale solar deployed in Australia.

It said the laggard is the “missing middle” of C/I applications with only about 4 gigawatts of installed capacity.

Furthermore, it said the solar duck-curve challenge is making new renewable energy projects less attractive due to low and sometimes even negative pricing during the day when solar is producing at its peak.

It also said a complete DER solution with generation paired with storage and intelligent demand response capability is critical to enabling decarbonization of the grid.

“MetroElectro’s solution is built with all the challenges of our renewable energy transition in mind,” said Lloyd Heinrich, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MetroElectro.

According to him, the firm’s solution aims to transform overlooked swathes of rooftops in industrial parks, turning these difficult-to-address assets into efficient energy generation resources.

The approach simplifies the complexities, eliminates onerous capital requirements on owners and their tenants, and mitigates risks associated with distributed solar power on commercial rooftops.

Through strategic coordination with key stakeholders, including building owners, operators, the electricity grid, off-takers, and financiers, MetroElectro aggregates supply to facilitate meaningful trading in both wholesale markets and ancillary services.

“MetroElectro creates an exciting alternative to grid-scale renewable projects that are close to urban areas and takes advantage of large unused rooftop space,

“This solution has the potential to significantly speed up Australia’s energy transition,” said Monique Conheady, Australian-based Venture Partner for Wavemaker Impact.

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