bp buys majority stake in Finite Carbon
bp has acquired a majority stake in carbon offset developer Finite Carbon, building on its existing interest in the company.
Finite Carbon is the largest developer of forest carbon offsets in the US. It now has 50 carbon projects on three million acres which have registered more than 70 million independently-verified offsets and generated more than $500 million in revenue for landowners.
bp will bring the firm into its in-house business accelerator, bp Launchpad. Together with bp’s additional investment, this is expected to bolster Finite Carbon’s expansion, including into new geographical markets.
David Eyton, bp's Executive Vice President of Innovation and Engineering, said Finite Carbon has the potential to build a global platform for managing and financing natural climate solutions (NCS).
"Deepening our partnership will allow them to accelerate their development and expansion. Finite Carbon’s progression through bp - from venturing investment to majority ownership and introduction to Launchpad – is a great example of how we are applying our unique innovation ecosystem to foster innovation and build material energy businesses in support of our net zero ambition."
Founded in 2009, Finite Carbon identifies and develops projects that enable landowners to generate revenue from the protection, restoration, and sustainable management of forests. These actions increase carbon stored in forests and generate carbon offsets that are verified against industry-recognized standards and can be traded on markets.
bp invested $5 million in Finite Resources, the parent of Finite Carbon, in 2019, according to Bloomberg.
Sean Carney, founder of Finite Carbon added: “Putting a price on carbon can make it possible for anyone with the ability to protect, plant, or improve forests to generate revenue from their efforts. However, there is currently limited infrastructure to quantify, monitor, and verify these actions at scale.
"Thanks to this unique partnership with bp, Finite Carbon now has the resources of a global energy company behind it to help address this enormous environmental challenge and help small landowners access this market."
Earlier this year, bp announced its ambition to become a net zero emissions company by 2050. In September, bp and Microsoft agreed to collaborate as strategic partners to further digital transformation in energy systems and advance net zero carbon goals of both companies.
Last month, bp and Ørsted signed a Letter of Intent to develop a project for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen (click here).
Sealaska, a forest carbon offset project in Southeast Alaska developed by Finite Carbon, is pictured.
Form Energy receives funding power for iron-air batteries
Form Energy believes it has cracked the conundrum of commercialising grid storage through iron-air batteries - and some of the biggest names in industry are backing its potential.
The startup recently announced the battery chemistry of its first commercial product and a $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. Founded in 2017, Form Energy is backed by investors Eni Next LLC, MIT’s The Engine, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and Macquarie Capital.
While solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity, the grid faces a challenge: how to manage the multi-day variability of renewable energy, even in periods of multi-day weather events, without sacrificing energy reliability or affordability.
Moreover, while Lithium-ion batteries are well suited to fast bursts of energy production, they run out of energy after just a few hours. Iron-air batteries, however, are predicted to have theoretical energy densities of more than 1,200 Wh/kg according to Renaissance of the iron-air battery (phys.org)
The active components of Form Energy's iron-air battery system are some of the cheapest, and most abundant materials: iron, water, and air. Iron-air batteries are the best solution to balance the multi-day variability of renewable energy due to their extremely low cost, safety, durability, and global scalability.
It claims its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion and can be optimised to store electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with legacy power plants.
"This product is our first step to tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonisation: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather, grid outages, or periods of low renewable generation," it states.
Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said it conducted a broad review of available technologies and has reinvented the iron-air battery to optimise it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. "With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages," he said.
Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems. Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy, located near the heart of the American Iron Range.
Greg Ludkovsky, Global Head of Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, believes Form Energy is at the leading edge of developments in the long-duration, grid-scale battery storage space. "The multi-day energy storage technology they have developed holds exciting potential to overcome the issue of intermittent supply of renewable energy."
Investors in Form Energy's November 2020 round included Energy Impact Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners III, and Temasek.
In May 2020, it signed a contract with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project to be located in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.
Last week Helena and Energy Vault announced a strategic partnership to identify additional opportunities for Energy Vault’s waste remediation technologies as the company begins deployment of its energy storage system worldwide. It received new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in June.
Maoneng has revealed more details of its proposed 240MWp / 480MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia (click here).
The BESS represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that will improve electricity grid reliability and network stability by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods for battery storage, and dispatching energy to the grid during peak periods.