Rolls-Royce’s Storage Buy
By Ian Cameron14 January 2020
Rolls-Royce has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in German electricity storage specialist Qinous GmbH.
Rolls-Royce will hold a 73.1% share in the Berlin-based electricity storage company Qinous GmbH having acquired the shareholdings of all other current financial investors, including that of investment holdings company IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (Berlin). The founding shareholders will continue to hold shares in the company and will retain their current roles in the business. Purchase details were not revealed.
Rolls-Royce had already acquired a 19.9% stake in the former start-up in October 2018. The company is involved in battery storage systems and associated control systems, and has already implemented storage solutions around the world.
“Our new subsidiary is to play a pivotal role going forward,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems Division. “This is where we are going to pool all the division’s microgrid activities – from simple storage solutions to complete, complex microgrid solutions of various sizes and configurations. As a young, start-up-style company, Qinous brings expertise that is an ideal complement to Rolls-Royce’s industrial credentials. Together we will be able to respond quickly and with great professionalism to the demands of the market,” he continued.
The joint development work on a range of storage solutions in recent months has shown that the two companies are an excellent fit and, as Schell explained, “that we can achieve new market potential by integrating more closely. We see great market potential for sustainable power supplies, especially for distributed, environmentally-friendly MTU microgrid solutions.”
“Taking a majority holding in Qinous is a major step forward as we transform into a provider of integrated solutions for our customers. In future, we will be able to offer not just the technical solution and associated service offerings, but the finance too,” said Schell. Qinous has made a name for itself with modular, scalable, prefabricated plug-and-play battery products that combine renewable energy sources, power generators and battery storage technology. Rolls-Royce is a specialist in customized energy solutions with the worldwide sales and service network of its product and solution brand MTU.
“This even closer partnership between Rolls-Royce and Qinous is a logical and consistent step towards opening up the rapidly growing microgrid market. The functionality and reliability of the solutions have been proven in a large number of projects. Now, with MTU’s experience and global presence, we can meet demand more quickly and more comprehensively,” said Steffen Heinrich, co-founder and co-managing director of Qinous. “Also on behalf of co-managing director Reinhard Edelmann and co-founder Busso von Bismarck, I want to thank the seedcorn investors who made it possible to set Qinous up as a company, and who have supported us actively right through to the present day.”
Sabine Wolff, investment manager at IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft commented: “We are delighted to have found an internationally renowned partner for Qinous in the form of Rolls-Royce. The combination of renewable energies and storage solutions, which are already being used successfully in on-grid and off-grid applications and to safeguard grid stability, will also find further areas of application in tomorrow’s microgrid markets. The partnership between Rolls-Royce and Qinous has become a success story for the Berlin operation, and presents us with an attractive exit opportunity.”
The modular component system of the coordinated Qinous/MTU product range will in future allow the configuration of solutions from 30 kW/30kWh to several megawatts. “The range of services and deliverables covers the needs of commercial enterprises, municipal utilities, energy suppliers, and even sizeable industrial plants. Together with Qinous, we can offer customers a wide range of microgrid solutions consisting of different combinations of power generation and storage systems. In this way we will ensure sustainable, cost-optimized and – above all – climate-friendly power supplies, whether connected to the public grid or independent of it,” said Cordelia Thielitz, vice president of Rolls-Royce’s Microgrid Solutions business. “The key to this is the comprehensive expertise in storage technology, the efficient integration of microgrid components and the development of intelligent control systems,” she emphasized.
Qinous employs around 40 people in Berlin. Rolls-Royce is engaged in research and development of microgrids and power generators at four locations: Friedrichshafen, Ruhstorf, Augsburg and Mankato (US).
Photo caption: Andreas Schell (right), CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems Division with Steffen Heinrich co-founder and co-managing director of Qinous GmbH