Friday, 26 April 2019 02:38

Evergen appoints new CEO, gears up for growth

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Evergen's newly appointed CEO Ben Hutt Evergen's newly appointed CEO Ben Hutt

Australian renewable energy start-up Evergen says it is gearing up for growth after closing a capital raise led by majority shareholder and infrastructure investment manager AMP Capital.

Evergen launched in Australia on 25 August 2015, with seed funding from AMP Capital and technical backing from the CSIRO, and the company says that, since then, it has made significant progress in optimising the energy management of a growing number of homes and businesses across Australia and New Zealand.

According to Evergren, there is now more than 5MWh of Evergen-optimised battery storage deployed, and more than 750,000 hours of successful systems operation in the field.

Michael Cummings, chairman of Evergen and global co-head of asset management for AMP Capital’s infrastructure equity business, said, “Evergen’s differentiated market position and opportunity to play a significant role in the clean energy revolution make it ideal for further investment”.

“As a pioneer in infrastructure investment for more than 30 years, AMP Capital is also looking at global technology investment opportunities that align or disrupt more conventional infrastructure, particularly in the energy sector.

“Evergen is ripe for scale, with a market-leading offering that has significant potential both in Australia and globally. With expansion opportunities on the table, we wanted to deepen our investment in a business that is poised to capture significant market share within Australia, as well as take advantage of international opportunities.

“Evergen’s ability to understand how a customer uses energy to forecast and optimise between solar panels, battery, and the grid, and enhance battery performance and health, delivers its customers savings of more than 80% off their normal electricity bill and performs at least 20% better than comparable offerings.”

On completion of the capital raise, Evergen has appointed a new chief executive — Ben Hutt — to lead the next phase of growth.

“On behalf of the board and the shareholders, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Ben Hutt, an experienced start-up founder and execution-focused entrepreneur, to the role of CEO and managing director,” Cummings said.

“Ben has significant experience in setting companies up for growth, in developing collaborative partnerships and scaling internationally. Ben is a unique and experienced CEO, and we are delighted he has accepted the opportunity to grow Evergen and be a driving force in the renewable energy and infra-tech revolution.”

Hutt was the chief program director and entrepreneur in residence at Slingshot and has more than 15 years’ experience in management consulting and problem solving with top-tier firms including Macquarie Group and PwC Consulting.

The company also says that Hutt was in the heart of the Australian start-up ecosystem advising high performing star-tup and scale-up companies, and connecting them with clients, including Qantas, Lion, HCF and Caltex through Slingshot Accelerator programs.

Cummings described Hutt as an “exceptional leader with a great combination of skills and experience, and the ideal person to lead the company through its next phase of growth and development”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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