bp ventures invests in Australian renewable company 5B
Photo courtesy of bp

bp ventures invests in Australian renewable company 5B

bp ventures has made a AUD20 million (USD13 million) investment in 5B Holdings Pty Ltd, a renewable  company with technology that enables rapid deployment of solar power at scale based in Sydney, Australia. The investment  closes 5B’s AUD55 million (USD36.8 million) Series B funding round, which was co-led by existing investors The AES  Corporation and Artesian. 

The capital injection from bp ventures will support 5B’s technology development and growth. It will  also accelerate 5B’s international expansion, and its plans to establish a manufacturing and assembly  hub in North America.  

5B’s leading solar technology, the 5B Maverick®, consists of up to 90 solar panels mounted on  specially designed frames that can be unfolded and installed at speed. To date, 5B has deployed its  technology across more than 100 sites worldwide, with total generating capacity of more than 60 megawatts (MW). 

This year, 5B Maverick was used to deploy panels with 1.1MW capacity— covering the equivalent of a  soccer pitch—in a single day, with a team of only 10 people at AES’ Andes Solar II B facility in the Atacama  Desert in Chile. 

“5B’s  innovative solar technology can deliver low-cost power generation at speed, helping to meet rising  electricity demand. This deal is a fantastic example of bp investing in a business that will support our  renewable energy transition growth engine. And is another strand of our multi-energy vector country  strategy that will support the decarbonisation of energy in Australia,” said Johnathan Stone, principal at bp ventures, will join the 5B Board of Directors. 

“We are delighted to be making an important contribution to 5B’s Series B funding round and look  forward to helping them accelerate their expansion through collaboration with various parts of our  business.”

bp’s gas & low carbon energy (G&LCE) business and 50-50 joint venture Lightsource bp, together with  5B, will explore the best opportunities to collaborate on the deployment of 5B’s Maverick technology  on future bp and Lightsource bp projects. All three companies will continue to work on deploying solar  energy to meet the rising demand for reliable, accessible, and affordable electricity. 

“It’s hugely encouraging to see bp’s transition and we  look forward to working together to accelerate that effort. Collaborating with bp ventures and the  broader bp businesses offers us a wealth of global commercial and operational expertise. It presents a  great opportunity to deploy our 5B Maverick technology across a range of global markets. The backing  of such an active and experienced venture capital team is a powerful validation of our technology and  ability to support bp as it transitions to an integrated energy company,” said Chris McGrath, 5B co-founder and CEO.