Reliance Industries’ wholly-owned subsidiary Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), along with strategic investors Paulson & Co, Bill Gates, and others have invested $144 million in energy storage company Ambri Inc. RNESL will invest $50 million to acquire 42.3 million shares of preferred stock in the company. This investment comes after RIL recently announced its plans to build a Giga Factory in Jamnagar to store intermittent energy as part of its Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project.
Massachusetts-based Ambri is commercialising 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. It can cater to projects that require energy storage systems from 10 MWh to over 2 GWh. It will manufacture calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerised systems that are believed to be more economical than lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are capable of operating safely in any climatic conditions without requiring supplemental air conditioning and are meant to last for over 20 years with minimal degradation, it said. The company is securing customers for large-scale projects with commercial operation in 2023 and beyond.
The latest investment will help the company commercialise and grow its long-duration energy storage systems business globally.
RNESL and Ambri are also in talks to set up a large scale battery manufacturing unit in India. The exclusive collaboration could scale up as well as reduce cost for RIL’s green energy initiative.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders in June that they are exploring new and advanced electro-chemical technologies that can be used for large-scale grid batteries to store energy. “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 announced.
Ambri was formed in 2010 after Professor Donald Sadoway’s liquid metal battery project at MIT achieved significant technical breakthroughs. Apart from the aforementioned, Ambri has investors such as Khosla Ventures, KLP Enterprises, TOTAL SE and GVB.
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