Clean Energy and Total finalise JV for carbon-negative fuel
Clean Energy Fuels Corp and its largest shareholder, Total SE, have finalised a 50/50 joint venture to develop carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities in the US, as well as credit support to build additional downstream RNG fueling infrastructure.
The initial commitment is $100 million and can increase to $400 million with Total providing credit support, including $45 million for contracted RNG fueling infrastructure.
Carbon-negative RNG is produced when carbon emissions are captured from dairies and turned into a transportation fuel.
As a result, the California Air Resources Board gives these carbon-negative RNG projects a weighted average carbon intensity (“CI”) Score (gCO2e/MJ) of -317 compared to 100 for diesel and 19 for electric batteries.
Clean Energy is the largest provider of RNG as a transportation fuel in the United States, and the largest RNG fuel provider under the California LCFS program. RNG can be used directly as a vehicle fuel or can be used as a feedstock to produce “green” hydrogen or “green” electricity and still generate LCFS environmental credits.
The companies have already partnered to expand the use of RNG in the heavy-duty truck market with the Zero Now program, which allows fleets to purchase RNG trucks for the same price as diesel trucks. The demand for carbon-negative RNG has rapidly accelerated through the Zero Now program with trucking companies such as Kenan Advantage, KeHE Distributors, Estes Express Lines, Tradelink Transport, among many others, taking advantage of the economic savings while powering their new fleets with the cleanest fuel in the world.
"The finalization of this JV with Total, which was originally announced in December of last year, demonstrates the commitment both companies have to the growth of RNG, a fuel that can tackle serious climate issues today,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, CEO and president of Clean Energy. "The demand by customers for RNG continues to accelerate, highlighted by our recent announcement that the largest bus fleet in the U.S., LA Metro, had converted their entire fleet to RNG. This JV will help Clean Energy to continue to increase its supply of RNG in the years ahead."
French President Emmanuel Macron and Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total, officially opened L’Industreet in Stains (north of Paris), a campus for 18- to 25-year-olds, this week which is funded by the Total Foundation. The campus will provide tuition-free training for 400 young people each year in the industry professions of tomorrow.
Total, whose renewables portfolio has expanded by 10GW, recorded adjusted net income of $4.1 billion in 2020. The infographic summarises its activities in the electric mobility space.
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.