Low Carbon Accelerator (“LCA” or the “Company”) announces that it has made a further equity investment of £300,000 in ResponsiveLoad Ltd (which trades as RLtec). LCA's investment was part of an overall £550,000 funding round, with £250,000 provided by a private investor.
As part of this investment, LCA has converted its £900,000 convertible loan in RLtec, previously announced on 21 December 2007, into preference shares. These transactions result in LCA's equity stake in RLtec increasing to 77.4% and takes LCA's total investment in RLtec to £2,053,500.
In addition, LCA has agreed to provide a further £300,000 in funding subject to the achievement of milestones.
It was originally envisaged that the convertible loan note would finance RLtec to the completion of a larger third party funding round. The company now expects to pursue this larger funding round after RLTec has agreed terms with the National Grid for the provision of grid balancing services using RLtec's patented dynamic demand technology. RLtec is targeting agreement of this contract in early 2009.
In the meantime, RLtec has continued to make good progress towards agreeing a demonstration project with Ofgem and a major utility supplier under the UK's Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERTs) programme. It has also recently received an order to trial its product using electrical load available in the Sainsbury retail store estate, in addition to successfully completing application testing with a major appliance manufacturer.
RLtec has developed technology suitable for demand- response and Smart Grid energy balancing applications. Demand response refers to the ability to reduce electrical energy use, typically in buildings and business applications during times of peak load. This provides greater margin on the grid and removes the necessity to use expensive back-up generation “peaking” plant which may have poor carbon efficiencies. Peaking plant is also the highest price grid balancing commodity.
Rather than simply 'shut-down' energy use in applications, RLtec's technology allows for a dynamic response to demand. Energy use can be reduced without any damage or hindrance to end-users or appliances which need to be running continuously such as refrigeration units and building heating or cooling systems.
The UK Government has recognised the benefits of using dynamic demand, which could include 2,000,000 tonnes of reduced carbon emissions, assisting with integration of the 35GW of renewable generation on the grid and reduced risk of black- outs.
Transmission grids throughout the world are experiencing problems as greater demand and more variable renewable generation output increase instability. Most grid operators are now looking for Smart Grid technologies which can offer a solution. In the UK alone, the market for grid balancing services increased in 2008 by 40% over forecast to £770m. Renewable generation integration will significantly increase this figure, predicted to exceed £1.6b by 2020.
Each of the above companies has delivered progress against its commercial milestones and LCA is pleased to be able to support them in their next stage of growth. The Investment Manager believes that these companies are in a strong position to exploit large, profitable, and addressable markets and that, with rising energy prices and a harsh financial climate, there will be stronger demand for clean-energy generating and energy efficient products, as business and consumers invest to lower their own long-term costs.