Hanwha Invests in Silent Power for Solar-Energy Storage

Hanwha Group, a closely held South Korean industrial conglomerate, plans to offer energy-storage systems from Silent Power Inc. with solar panels from its Hanwha SolarOne unit.

The bundled offering with solar panels and storage will be available to residential, commercial and industrial customers in September, according to a statement today. Hanwha invested $8 million in Baxter, Minnesota-based Silent Power and was the sole participant in its Series B financing round, John Frederick, a spokesman for Silent Power, said by telephone.

Storage technology will increase the value of solar systems, which operate intermittently and often aren’t generating electricity when energy use on the grid peaks, Hanwha said.

Silent Power supplies the electronics and incorporates batteries from other manufacturers, including Saft Groupe SA and GS Yuasa Corp., to build its systems, Frederick said. “We do everything but the battery,” he said.

Silent Power’s systems supply energy directly to customers or utility companies seeking to power the grid during periods of peak demand. The company says it’s working on more than a dozen storage projects with U.S. utilities.