Business

Dublin’s UrbanVolt bags €36m for its solar energy business


As well as its ‘lighting-as-a-service’ offering, UrbanVolt finances and installs solar panels on the rooftops of businesses and sells the electricity generated to those same businesses.

Dublin-based UrbanVolt has secured €36m in financing to expand its solar panel business in Ireland and the UK.

The funding includes a €30m asset-backed seven-year loan from Swedish credit fund PCP and €6m from existing funding partners BVP and Beach Point Capital.

Future Human

Founded in 2015 at the Dublin City University Alpha innovation campus by Kevin Maughan, Graham Deane and Declan Barrett, UrbanVolt started out installing and maintaining energy-efficient LED lighting systems in large commercial and industrial sites.

Now, the company also finances and installs solar panels on the rooftops of commercial and industrial businesses, selling the solar electricity generated to the same businesses at a rate up to 30pc lower than traditional suppliers.

The company said it also guarantees the price for up to 30 years, protecting businesses against rising energy costs with no minimum amount payable or standing charges – meaning that customers pay proportionate to their consumption.

“This is a transformational deal, which will allow us to scale at pace to meet the significant demand in the market while also streamlining the process of installing solar panels for our customers’ benefit,” said Maughan, who is the company’s CEO.

“This first funding facility from PCP will see our project output grow by 20 [times] over the coming years. It is also happening at a time when the demand for renewable energy is rising significantly given climate and geopolitical crises.”

The loan facility will be used to fund the installation of solar panels and related equipment on UrbanVolt’s primary target of commercial and industrial client sites in both Ireland and the UK.

It started supplying solar-generated electricity directly to businesses in Ireland last summer, and since then has agreed contracts with more than 60 companies and completed seven installations.

“By incorporating an ‘as a service’ business model, our customers only pay for the energy they use without a standing charge, and the cost of our equipment and its maintenance is kept off their balance sheet,” Maughan said.

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