Solar developer 5B gets $20m investment from bp

Aerial photo of solar startup 5B's folding solar technology (el salvador)
5B Maverick panels

bp ventures has made a $20 million investment in 5B, an Australian renewable company with technology that enables rapid deployment of solar power at scale.

The investment closes 5B’s $55 million Series B funding round, which was co-led by existing investors The AES Corporation and Artesian.

Related article: bp takes over Australia’s largest renewable energy project

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 over 60MW.

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 at AES’ Andes Solar II B facility in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

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.

bp ventures principal Johnathan Stone, who will join the 5B board of directors, said, “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.”

Related article: Aussie solar start-up 5B gets $14m funding boost

“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 and 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.

Previous articleEngineers Australia calls for reform in response to report
Next articleNorway’s Equinor to help progress Bass Offshore Wind project