PVcase, a software-as-a-service company specializing in solar project design, has secured a joint investment of $100 million, bringing the company’s total funding to more than $123 million. Highland Europe, Energize and existing investor Elephant all participated in the round.
Considerable investments in the solar market notwithstanding, the solar engineering industry is devoid of the digitization needed to keep pace with demand, the company contends. PVcase is adding speed, efficiency and precision to solar project design while solving the solar industry’s growing problem of data risk.
Data risk arises from many factors. Utility-scale solar’s rapid global growth has led to a lack of qualified designers and engineers, contributing to developers’ use of software to automate tasks in design and ongoing operations. However, data sources for that software – particularly in Europe – are in older formats, such as PDFs and hard copy records. And most solar software platforms were designed independent of each other, built to automate only a handful of tasks.
As a result, developers must now use as many as 70 different data sets, most with fields of data that must be manually matched when moving from one software platform to the next. These multiple, time-consuming and customized transfers inevitably degrade data quality, creating data risk.
“For solar data, there are no standards for how much to collect, when and how often to collect it and what the data should cover,” says PVcase CCO Douglas Geist. “PVcase’s momentum won the confidence of these investors that we can address this challenge.”
PVcase will streamline every step in the design and operations process in a single platform. This investment comes on the heels of the company’s recent acquisition of solar siting firm Anderson Optimization. The two platforms’ data fields have already been matched, enabling transfer with a few mouse clicks. The merged product line carries numerous benefits. The biggest is ensuring developers only spend time and resources on viable sites, notes PVcase CEO David Trainavicius.
“In utility-scale solar design and construction, the physical output can only be as good as the software and data inputs,” says Peter Fallon, general partner at Elephant. “PVcase is building the end-to-end solution in the category, allowing its customers to more effectively design and develop scaled solar projects.”