The first investment from the government’s Clean Growth Fund has been secured by Piclo to help fund its UK and international growth.

The £1.5 million invested by the venture capital fund – which was established in May 2020 to invest in UK clean-tech companies – is also to further Piclo’s work to decarbonise the electricity grids.

James Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Piclo, said: “The investment by the Clean Growth Fund marks the next, big step forward in Piclo’s journey, facilitating and growing flexibility markets: be prepared for more flexibility, more markets and more partnerships both in the UK and abroad.”

Piclo uses the latest digital technology to develop its online marketplace, with the Piclo Flex platform enabling network operators to procure flexibility services that help balance the grid.

It has commercially partnered five of the six UK distribution network operators (DNOs) and is currently collaborating with National Grid ESO to enable new flexibility markets. Earlier this year, it facilitated the UK’s largest ever flexibility tender at distribution level, with UK Power Networks awarding £14 million of flexibility contracts.

The company is also expanding into Europe, joining forces with the Slovenian Green Transformation Consortium in May 2020. This partnership will see Piclo run flexibility trials similar to those in the UK.

Alongside this, it is a partner in the EU-funded OneNet Project, which is to provide a seamless integration of all actors in the electricity network across Europe and ensure an open and fair market structure to optimise the overall energy system.

Beverley Gower-Jones, managing partner of the Clean Growth Fund and who will join the board of Piclo, said the company is “precisely the type of clean-tech company that the Clean Growth Fund wants to invest in”.

The Clean Growth Fund has been cornerstoned by CCLA and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is targeting a £100 million fund size by 2021.

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