ViZn Energy Systems Enters Partnership with Jabil to Manufacture its Zinc/iron Flow Battery

AUSTIN, Texas, June 2, 2015 – ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn), a leading provider of energy storage systems for microgrid and utility applications, announced today that it has entered into a strategic relationship with Jabil Circuit Inc., (NYSE:JBL) a design, manufacturing and supply chain management service provider, to manufacture ViZn  Energy’s Zinc/iron flow batteries in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

Jabil will help ViZn energy ramp up production capabilities of its flow batteries to fulfill current orders, and expand its capacity to meet expected delivery commitments over the next 12 months.

“With the rate of orders accelerating over the past few months, we need a partner who can help us meet the current demand for our energy storage systems,” said John Lowell, COO of ViZn. “Working with an industry leader like Jabil further validates our safe and cost effective energy storage solution. Jabil can produce our product in a timely manner and to the strict specifications for quality and performance that we expect of our energy storage systems.”

“ViZn has a unique and robust energy storage solution,” Bill Mitchell, Jabil senior director of corporate development said. “The market for their product is growing quickly and we’re proud to be working alongside ViZn Energy as they scale up to meet industry demand.”

ViZn’s Z20 battery storage system is a safe, scalable and sustainable energy storage solution to drive the value of microgrids and utility applications. Its technology utilizes a non-toxic, low cost zinc and iron chemistry that aids steady and safe operation. The Z20 offers one of the fastest charge and discharge responses on the market, can withstand significant temperature fluctuations and can facilitate multiple discharge cycles each day. It is the most cost-effective flow battery system on the market today.   

Forbes: The Storage Industry Learns From Solar, Third Party Financing A Growing Trend

This morning, ViZn Energy Systems – an energy storage company with a zinc iron redox flow storage technology announced that it was teaming up with LFC Capital to improve the financing options for solar PV and energy storage. The companies will make available up to $5 million per project.
The LFC financing program will involve a traditional operating lease, with options to own after six or seven years, as well as ‘tax efficiency.’ The two companies have identified the ideal project size as being a solar PV installation between 50 kilowatts and one megawatt, complemented with between 80 kilowatt-hours to 500 kilowatt-hours of energy storage.
The financing will be made available to qualified entities in all 50 states (though Alaska would seem an unlikely prospect). LFC is no novice to the energy finance business: it already offers operating leases starting at $100,000 to companies wishing to eventually own their solar systems.
This announcement is interesting on two levels, as it illustrates the growing trend of combining solar and energy storage technologies, as well as an increasing level of third-party financing moving into the storage game.
Solar + storage = an increasingly frequent value proposition
ViZn is not alone in combining solar and storage projects. In its February earnings call Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced the impending release of a consumer lithium ion battery for home storage. And last fall, SolarCity SCTY +0.89% CTO Peter Rive announced at the Energy Storage North America conference that a combined PV/storage offering was in the works as a future standard product offering. Meanwhile, other companies like Solar Grid Storage and Intelligent Generation are offering their own solar/storage combinations with different business models.
As costs of both solar and storage continue to fall, we will see many more announcements concerning the convergence of the two technologies.
Solar + storage + financing = even better
ViZn CEO Ron Van Dell notes that the combined solar/storage product lends itself particularly well to financing because both solar and storage scale easily.
You have to have the inherent product attributes that are consistent with these types of projects. You can’t have a cool financing tool with a product that isn’t simple or doesn’t scale well. The hardware aspects of deployment match up well with the kinds of projects that this kind of financing collaboration is targeting.
His company is not alone in this regard. Solar City is offering lease financing for a combined solar/storage offering. Storage company Stem recently announced a $135 million financing pool to help advance on-site customer storage projects. And GreenCharge networks announced an infusion of $56 million in third party financing last July from company K Road DG.
Van Dell notes that this trend is only going to grow.
It is echoing exactly what happened in solar, but we are hoping to accelerate…A lot of people who have been associated with the solar food chain are now doing solar plus storage… There are some fundamental economic reasons for that. You will get better economic returns from PV and storage, and you are more friendly to the grid you are connecting with. So why wouldn’t you extend financing to both?
ViZn’s redox flow battery (the company has an 80 kilowatt/160 kilowatt-hour module, with a 200 kilowatt/600 kilowatt-hour module out soon) positions the company to develop larger projects.
The financing offered by LFC allows the company to target a specific market that Van Dell feels is under-served, that is too small for a power purchase agreement, and has typically not had the financial wherewithal to access solar and storage.
We think there is a parade of opportunities in the mid-size market that typically have not been able to be done via a financed approach and now will be able to – and that’s a large part of the market. It’s also a diverse and early adopter part of the market as well.
He observes that as storage becomes more commonly deployed, some customers will want to do it themselves, even assuming responsibility for operations and maintenance, but others will prefer a storage-as-a-service type approach, with the flexibility of payment over time. In the end, Van Dell believes the financing will greatly help move product to market.
It really accelerates early adoption to be able to combine a very simple-to- deploy product with very straightforward financing options as well. It makes adoption easier.

Image: ViZn Energy Systems – will financing help move the needle on storage volumes?
ViZn has just entered its production phase and is now shipping product domestically and abroad, with the expectation that up to a third of its business in 2015 will be supported through this financing arrangement. The company expects to install dozens of projects this year and Van Dell is optimistic that the LFC financing option will help considerably.
“It’s looking like the right thing at the right time for us.”

ViZn Energy Systems and LFC Capital Announce An Innovative Ownership Program For Solar and Energy Storage

AUSTIN, Texas, February 26, 2015 – ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn), a leading provider of energy storage systems for commercial & industrial, microgrid and utility applications, and LFC Capital, Inc., an equipment leasing and financial services company with more than $1.5 billion of experience, has teamed up to make property owners’ acquisition of solar PV and energy storage affordable. The availability of as much as $5 million per project is expected to accelerate the deployment of ViZn’s Z20 Energy Storage System, a zinc/iron redox flow battery. LFC Capital’s program uses a traditional operating lease with attractive ownership options after six and seven years, plus tax efficiency to provide companies with a low-cost path to ownership. LFC also encourages the use of a follow-on loan as a way to conserve cash and maintain low monthly payments throughout an extended investment period.

The ideal project size is a 50 kW to 1,000 kW solar PV installation requiring 80 kWh to 500 kWh of energy storage. LFC’s program, available to qualified companies in all 50 states, appeals to companies that cannot directly benefit from a federal tax credit, or simply want energy savings and off-balance sheet accounting without a long-term commitment to a power purchase agreement.

David Mintzer, ViZn’s Vice President of Business Development, said, “We’re excited to partner with LFC Capital. LFC’s program will make the combination of our energy storage system with solar PV affordable to a wider group of commercial and industrial property owners installing microgrids and give ViZn a greater presence in this important market.”

“We’re very happy to be partnering with ViZn to provide their customers with a low-cost way to acquire a battery-enhanced solar PV system,” said Stanley S. Fishbein, JD, LLM (Tax), Managing Director of LFC Capital. “Our program is fast becoming the most popular way for companies to derive more value from a variety of incentives when undertaking a solar PV project.”

ViZn’s Z20 product is safe, non-toxic and can be located in populated areas close to hospitals or schools. The Z20 offers a number of benefits over competing battery storage products, including one of the fastest charge and discharge responses on the market, a design that will withstand significant temperature fluctuations and facilitate multiple discharge cycles each day. It is the most cost-effective flow battery system on the market today.

ViZn Energy Systems Announces Fundraising Success, and Expansion to Open Corporate Headquarters in Austin, TX

AUSTIN, Texas, 10 February 2015 – ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn), a leading provider of energy storage systems for commercial, industrial, microgrid and utility applications, is pleased to announce that it has raised $24 million to date, including over $7 million in 2014.  ViZn will expand its operations into Austin, Texas with the opening of its new corporate headquarters. The Austin office will house ViZn’s executive level staff along with certain new company functions.

ViZn has expanded its capabilities at its Montana facility, where the company’s design center, engineering and operations staff are located. This expansion supports an increase in development and production of its next generation zinc-iron flow batteries.  The company expects to ship more than 1 MWh of systems in the first half of 2015.

Ron Van Dell, President and CEO of ViZn, commented, “We are seeing tremendous interest in our flow battery systems. With more and more customers seeking a cost effective and safe energy storage system to meet their energy needs, our expansions this year in Texas and Montana will allow us to meet the growing demand for our best-in-class solutions.”

Van Dell continued, “Our decision to locate to Austin was based on my own personal experience and the city’s reputation as a thriving technology hub and supportive community for startups. We are looking forward to the advantages and opportunities that come along with establishing a presence in a city that embraces pro-growth policies and is quickly establishing itself as one of the leading cleantech centers in the U.S.”

The Austin Chamber’s Clean Energy Council says Austin is home to more than 200 cleantech companies that employ 20,000 people, and according to the Austin Technology Council, the technology sector in Austin contributes $21.5 billion annually to the regional economy and supports 26 percent of local jobs.