Eco Innovation

Finnish startup to answer the energy crisis with second-life Tesla batteries

29th November 2022
Paige West

Cactos turns second-life EV batteries into smart energy storage units that are connected to its proprietary cloud-based control software.

The units can optimise energy consumption, provide uninterrupted power, hedge against market volatility, and provide demand response to the grid.

Cactos has raised a total of €2.5M in equity and debt led by Superhero Capital, with participation from Cactos’s founders. The funding will fund the company's growth, including increased energy storage unit production, production facility expansion, and international projects, as Cactos answers unprecedented demand for its products with Europe facing its biggest energy crisis in decades.

Cactos operates a fleet of distributed energy storage systems based on smart energy storage units and a cloud computing service. The energy storage units are made from re-used Tesla EV batteries, making them one of the market's most environmentally friendly energy storage units. They also provide an excellent end-of-life solution for the electrification of transport and the promotion of a circular economy.

The EV battery modules are disassembled, inspected, and tested at the Cactos factory in Muhos, Finland, and are converted into 100kWh energy storage units by a team of Cactos experts.

The algorithmic-based cloud computing service, Cactos Spine, controls and optimises the fleet of energy storage units. This enables consistent energy supply through usage peaks or blackouts, as well as optimisation that maximises the benefit of lower electricity prices. In addition, the energy storage units provide stability to the transmission grid by balancing supply and demand. When there is a shortage of electricity, the units automatically discharge energy into the grid, and if there is excess production, the units absorb energy.

“Our first year of operation is coming to a close. In the first semester, we brought to the market one of the world’s most advanced energy storage systems. Following the roll-out, market demand for our product has been exceptionally strong, and the funding we raised will help us to fully respond to this demand. We are also happy to welcome Superhero Capital as a shareholder of Cactos. Our cooperation has started well, and we have seen that the Superhero team shares our understanding of the energy markets – a sustainable transition to renewable energy requires smart energy storage solutions that are easily accessible,” says Oskari Jaakkola, CEO and Founder of Cactos.

“On the ground, companies are concerned about electricity supply and market volatility. The coming winter will clearly be a very difficult one, but the longer-term outlook with energy transition and temporal imbalance in supply and demand means there is a huge need for demand response and different ways to store energy. To service the market at large, our target was to create an energy storage solution that is carefree for the user and easily accessible. I believe we have succeeded in doing that – the Cactos One requires no upfront investment and operates independently,” Jaakkola continues.

Cactos provides a full service that includes a cloud computing service and energy storage units. Cactos offers the energy storage systems to its clients at a monthly price and no upfront investment.

“There is an acute need for smart energy storage systems to support the global transition to a greener world. With the novel business model and technology Cactos has introduced, businesses can profitably contribute to this transition. At Superhero Capital, we are focused on partnering with like-minded businesses and founders to build something extraordinary. We are impressed by their technology, experience, and commitment to make this happen,” said Jussi Pyörre, Partner at Superhero Capital.

Cactos can also help businesses with new and changing demands for their connection size. For example, the increased number of electric vehicles has created new challenges for both the prospective charging locations and electricity distribution networks. Fast charging causes significant energy consumption peaks, and the charging stations may need to limit charging power due to limited connection size. The Cactos One unit helps by shaving the peaks and enabling temporary loads larger than the connection size would otherwise allow.

Less than a year after the incorporation of Cactos, the company has operational units across Finland that deliver savings and benefits to clients. With its current production operating at maximum capacity, the company will more than double its factory size in early 2023, allowing for nearly a 10-fold increase in unit production.

Cactos has successfully started partnerships with big organisations in Finland, such as Oomi, one of the largest electricity retailers in Finland, with over 400,000 customers, and Helsinki City Housing Company (Heka Oy) – Finland’s largest residential property owner with over 50,000 apartments. Jenni Venäläinen, Project Manager at Helsinki City Housing Company, commented: “The Cactos One unit will provide our housing units with emergency power, automatically optimise our consumption, and maximise the benefit of our local generation. We look forward to continuing our work with the Cactos team.”

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