Why We Invested in PVcase

Energize participates in $100M funding

Kevin Stevens and Meredith Breach
July 18, 2023

Energize is proud to participate in the $100 million financing of PVcase, the software solution for designing, estimating and optimizing utility-scale solar assets, alongside Highland Europe and Elephant VC. Energize managing partner John Tough joins PVcase’s board of directors, and partner Kevin Stevens joins as a board observer.

This latest funding marks Energize’s sixth investment out of our growth equity platform. We’re excited to put this capital infusion towards supporting PVcase in streamlining solar design and operations in a single software platform.

To meet the growing demand for utility-scale solar, we need innovation.

The global solar market has experienced explosive growth in recent years, with a 12-fold increase in solar capacity forecasted by 2050. Despite recent headwinds from supply chain disruptions and rising interest rates in the last year, the U.S.’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and similar EU mandates are providing significant solar incentives and prompting durable tailwinds across the solar value chain. And these tailwinds are expected to endure:

- By 2025, renewable energy is set to become the largest source of global electricity generation, replacing coal.

- By 2030, the utility-scale solar market is poised to grow at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) according to Energize internal analysis.

- By 2050, solar is expected to represent 33 percent of the global electricity generation capacity.

Source: IEA World Energy Outlook – 2021 Net Zero Emissions Outlook

Yet the solar industry is struggling to meet the moment and keep pace with the growing demand. Many of the processes required to develop, deploy and maintain a solar installation remain convoluted and lack automation. Soft costs – stemming from processes including project design, site assessments and interconnection – are weighing down solar project costs and slowing climate action.

Source: Energize Internal Analysis, based on data from BloombergNEF, IEA, SEIA and Statista

These issues are particularly prohibitive within the utility-scale solar market, where soft costs currently account for nearly 40 percent of project costs. The increased size of utility-scale solar projects comes with unique challenges that make project design more complex and project siting more time-intensive. At the same time, the utility-scale solar market represents the largest segment within solar and is expected to make up about 70 percent of global solar capacity by 2030.  

Software solutions that can reduce soft costs and automate workflows can unlock major growth, making solar development easier and more profitable. To continue scaling the energy transition, utility-scale solar must be brought into the digital age.

Software to connect the entire solar planning workflow

Enter PVcase, the global software company making utility-scale solar more efficient, affordable and scalable. PVcase’s software connects the solar planning workflow, allowing customers to optimize their designs and assess the viability of large solar projects. In an industry lacking universal digitization, PVcase’s impact has been resounding. Their automated software has enabled project developers and owners to design solar projects 30 times faster than traditional methods, expediting the rollout of large-scale solar projects while driving down pre-construction costs.

Unlike many of their competitors, PVcase offers a modern solution that integrates with the full solar software stack. Originally a solar design software platform, PVcase now offers a full suite of software solutions for the entire solar project lifecycle.

In June, PVcase announced their acquisition of Anderson Optimization, a software platform that automates solar site selection and assessment. Following the acquisition, PVcase estimates solar developers can reduce their project design process from multiple weeks to about 20 minutes. The acquisition will be instrumental in delivering the solar site selection software to European markets for the first time, as PVcase is making the integrated platform available to their European customers beginning with Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Historically, the solar planning workflow has required manual data transfers among fragmented digital tools, increasing the risk of data errors and gaps. PVcase’s expanded software suite integrates design and siting data sources, allowing their customer base – made up of solar developers and EPC firms, including Soltec, Sundt and Ghenova –  to expedite their solar project timelines while maximizing their planning accuracy.

A best-in-class solution focused on solving real problems

The Energize team has studied the solar software landscape for years, and we continually refine our research around the market gaps and opportunities for aligning to revenue while accelerating the energy transition. After reviewing many companies in the space, we identified PVcase as a top-tier climate software company for several key reasons:

1) Solving real customer pain points is embedded into PVcase’s core, from their product to their internal operations. The company was born from the frustration of solar engineers who recognized the need for a more modern, automated design solution. Their up-close understanding of solar engineering workflows has enabled them to “own the problem” with their capital efficient, customer-centric software solution.  

2) Founded in Lithuania, PVcase now operates in more than 75 countries. Their strong European presence gives them access to the market leading the global energy transition. And as PVcase looks to further expand in the U.S. market, Energize’s go-to-market expertise and corporate network will be a critical asset.

3) Finally, the PVcase culture embodies an Energize core tenet: “quality is contagious.” We’ve known the PVcase team for over two years and have been repeatedly impressed by their commitment and hustle – a sentiment often voiced by their customers as well. While completing our deal diligence, we even heard PVcase used as a verb; to “PVcase” a solar project is to develop it at mega speed.

Working together to scale sustainable innovation

PVcase is led by founder and CEO David Trainavicius, a two-time entrepreneur whose startups include solar engineering and technical consulting company Detra Solar. Headquartered in Lithuania, the PVcase team takes pride in their home country, including preserving the beautiful natural landscape. To date, they’ve planted 1900 trees in the “PVcase Forest” – one for each license sold since starting the initiative in 2021.

We’re excited to work with David and the rest of the PVcase team to automate solar planning processes and accelerate the global transition to renewable energy!