ZBB forms partnership with Solar Power Inc.

Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy Corp. announced on Friday its intention to enter into a supply agreement with Solar Power Inc. for energy storage systems with total combined power output of 40 megawatts over a period of four years.

The value of the initial supply agreement is estimated at $80 million to $120 million, depending on the mix of storage applications and installation requirements.

Headquartered in Shanghai, China, Solar Power is a global leader in enabling photovoltaic solutions for business, residential, government and utility customers and investors. ZBB is a developer of energy management systems solutions serving the utility, commercial and industrial building markets.

ZBB said the strategic partnership creates a solar industry powerhouse that will combine solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with energy storage and systems management solutions for utility, commercial and residential applications.

“In a short period of time, SPI has become a major global player in providing PV systems solutions and innovative renewable energy financing models,” said Paul Koeppe, ZBB Energy chairman. “SPI has a strong, worldwide presence in the highest growth markets for our products. This agreement gives us immediate access to regions and countries where we lack a presence today, providing a major opportunity for ZBB to become a global leader in energy storage and energy management systems. In addition, we expect this partnership to completely change the paradigm at ZBB from development stage to a high growth manufacturing company.”

The supply agreement will be entered into at the closing of a Securities Purchase Agreement between SPI and ZBB that was executed on Friday and is valued at $33.4 million, consisting of a combination of newly issued common stock and convertible preferred stock of ZBB.

Under the terms of the SPA, SPI will purchase 8 million shares of ZBB common stock for approximately $5.3 million at a price per share of $0.6678 and 28,048 shares of ZBB Series C Convertible Preferred Stock for approximately $28 million. The aggregate purchase price of the purchased preferred shares was determined based on a price of $0.6678 per common equivalent. The Purchased Preferred Shares are only convertible upon the completion of specific procurement milestones detailed in the Supply Agreement. With this infusion of capital, ZBB will have in excess of $45 million of cash on its balance sheet.

In addition to the initial $33.4 million investment into ZBB Energy, the Securities Purchase Agreement contemplates that ZBB will issue to SPI a warrant to purchase 50 million shares of ZBB common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $36.7 million and a per share exercise price equal to $0.7346.

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