Reliance and partners to invest $ 144 million in US-based energy storage firm

Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), along with strategic investors Paulson & Co. Inc. Bill Gates, and a few other investors has announced an investment of $144 million in Ambri Inc, an energy storage company based in Massachusetts, USA.

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.

The investment will help the company commercialize and grow its long-duration energy storage systems business globally.

The company said in a statement that 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.

The two companies are also in discussions for an exclusive collaboration to set up a largescale battery manufacturing facility in India, which could add scale and further bring down costs for Reliance’s green energy initiative.

“We are exploring new and advanced electro-chemical 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,” RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced addressing shareholders in June.

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.

The US-based company can cater to projects that require energy storage systems from 10 Megawatt-Hour to over 2 Gigawatt Hour. The company will manufacture calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerised 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. Ambri systems also support 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.

Shampa Bahadur has been a business journalist for more than two decades. She has written for Business India, PTI Media TransAsia and India Infrastructure Publication Ltd among others. She has also written coffee table books. She can be reached at shampa@indoasiancommodities.in

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