Energy storage: Reliance New Energy Solar invests $ 50 mn in Ambri Inc.
Mumbai: Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), along with strategic investors Paulson & Co. Inc. and Bill Gates, and a few other investors, has announced an investment of USD 144 million in Ambri Inc, an energy storage company based in Massachusetts, USA.
The investment will help the company commercialize and grow its long-duration energy storage systems business globally. RNESL will invest USD 50 million to acquire 42.3 million shares of preferred stock in Ambri, according to a press release on Tuesday.
Based on patented technology and designed to last between 4-24 hours, Ambri’s long-duration energy storage systems will break through the cost, longevity, and safety barriers associated with lithium-ion batteries used in grid-scale stationary storage applications. They will enable a crucial energy storage solution capable of supporting the increasing amounts of renewable energy being integrated into electric power grids.
RNESL and Ambri are also in discussions for an exclusive collaboration to set up a large-scale battery manufacturing facility in India, which could add scale and further bring down costs for Reliance’s green energy initiative.
Addressing shareholders in June this year, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced plans to build a Giga factory in Jamnagar for the storage of intermittent energy, as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project. “We are exploring new and advanced electrochemical technologies that can be used for such large-scale grid batteries to store the energy that we will create. We will collaborate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the highest reliability for round-the-clock power availability through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity,” he had said.
Ambri can cater to projects that require energy storage systems from 10 MWh to over 2 GWh. The company will manufacture calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerized systems that are more economical than lithium-ion batteries, capable of operating safely in any climatic condition without requiring supplemental air conditioning, and meant to last for over 20 years with minimal degradation.
The Ambri systems are particularly suited for high-usage applications, such as shifting energy from daytime solar generation to evening and morning peak load times. The company is securing customers for large-scale projects with commercial operations in 2023 and beyond.
Ambri Inc. has developed and is commercializing a new, long-duration battery technology that will enable widespread use of renewable energy sources, reduce electricity costs, and enable power systems to operate more reliably and efficiently.
The liquid metal battery project began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the laboratory of Professor Donald Sadoway, and the company was formed in 2010 when the project achieved significant technical breakthroughs. Prior to this capital raise, Ambri’s investors included Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, KLP Enterprises, TOTAL SE, and GVB.