Solar panel cleaning co Ecoppia raises $13m

Ecoppia cleaning robot Photo: PR

Investors include Harel Insurance, Swarth, GlenRock Capital, and Gandyr.

Israeli startup Ecoppia has raised $13 million in its third financing round, led by Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd. (TASE: HARL). Current investors in the company also participated in the financing round, including Swarth, the investment company of Shaul Shani; GlenRock Capital, the investment company of Leon Recanati; and Gandyr, the investment fund of Yehudit Yuval Recanati.

Ecoppia, founded in 2013 by Moshe and Eran Meller, the company's inventor and CEO, respectively, has developed a unique technology for cleaning solar panels that makes it possible to regularly and optimally generate electricity throughout the year, regardless of the weather.

Ecoppia works with major solar energy industry companies, including Engie Group from France; EDF, the French electric company; Actis Capital, and Indian company NTPC.

Ecoppia says that the main problem is that solar parks are usually built in dusty and desert areas, where dust storms are common, and there is a lack of water resources for cleaning purposes (especially when special treatment of the water for cleaning solar panels is necessary, which makes the cleaning expensive and non-environmentally friendly). The accumulated dust on the panels is liable to reduce electricity production.

Ecoppia is offering robots managed through cloud computing that clean the panels every night. They use material that does not scratch the panels, and use no water or electricity (the robots themselves are powered with solar energy).

The solution determines the optimal time for cleaning, the state of each robot, and the weather.

"Ecoppia has changed the rules of the game"

Ecoppia expects orders totaling over 2,000 megawatts in 2018, and is on Deloitte's list of the 50 fastest growing companies in Israel, with growth of over 1,600% in revenue in the past four years.

Eran Meller says, "We learned about the need from reading reports in "The Economist" and "Scientific American," and founded the company right away. We started a pilot with Siemens and Arava Power, which built the first solar park in Israel. Over the past four years, there has been a dramatic fall in the prices of kilowatt hours, while technologies are being adopted that make it possible to improve productivity, and this is where Ecoppia comes in."

Eran Meller explains that large companies succeeded in winning the most challenging tenders because of their cooperation with Ecoppia, which enables them to forego water infrastructure, optimize the site, and maximize efficiency. In other words, without the use of Ecoppia's technology, the return on investment for the entire project would not have been worthwhile.

Commenting on his company's latest financing round, Eran Meller said, "As a result of the drop in prices, it is important for companies to see financially strong mature technology. The Harel Group is giving us value, because it is giving us financial backing."

Harel Group said, "We are proud to lead this investment round. Ecoppia successfully detected a critical need in the solar power industry, and has provided a reliable and economical solution that greatly contributes to lowering the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) all over the world, and has in effect changes the rules of the game."

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on December 11, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

Ecoppia cleaning robot Photo: PR
Ecoppia cleaning robot Photo: PR
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