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Hanwha Solutions seeks new business model thru investment in U.S. startup Lancium

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 25, 2021, 09:39 Updated : November 25, 2021, 09:39

[Courtesy of Hanwha Solutions]

SEOUL -- Hanwha Solutions, a renewable energy service provider affiliated with South Korea's Hanwha Group, will accelerate its transition to an IT-based future energy provider by acquiring a stake in Lancium Technologies, an American startup specializing in power management in data centers.

Hanwha Solutions signed a contract to invest $100 million in Lancium. Without disclosing the size of its stake, Hanwha Solutions said it would participate in management in Lancium by securing a board seat. The investment is part of $150 million raised by Lancium from energy companies and investors.

Through its investment in Lancium, Hanwha Solutions would establish a business model that stably supplies power produced with eco-friendly energy to data centers by securing information technology-based power operation know-how. 

"As the renewable energy market expands, it is essential to strengthen software development capabilities for effective power management," Hanwha Solutions CEO Lee Goo-young said: "We will expand the eco-friendly data center power supply business by utilizing our renewable energy business capabilities accumulated over 10 years in the solar energy field."

The South Korean company would utilize big data and artificial intelligence-based energy management software development capabilities from Growing Energy Labs (GELI), a San Francisco-based company that provides software and business solutions to design, automate, and manage energy storage systems. GELI was acquired by Hanwha Solutions' subsidiary, Q Cells, in 2020.  

 Hanwha Solutions controlled by Kim Dong-kwan, the eldest son of Hanwha Group patriarch Kim Seung-yeon, took an aggressive approach to acquire advanced green energy technologies. A week ago, the company acquired a 16.7 percent stake worth $160.5 million in REC Silicon ASA, a Norway-based company that produces polysilicon, a high purity, polycrystalline form of silicon used as a raw material by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry.

The investment in REC Silicon is aimed at securing "stability in supplying raw materials for solar power manufacturing" in the United States. REC Silicon can produce 20,000 tons of polysilicon annually from two U.S. plants. Hanwha Solution has strengthened its U.S. solar energy business, with Q Cells operating a solar module facility with an annual production capacity of 1.7 gigawatts in Georgia.

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