Sempra unveils new unit for LNG, natural gas and renewables
Sempra Energy is to simplify its energy infrastructure investments under one platform – Sempra Infrastructure Partners – which will primarily focus on North American LNG export and natural gas infrastructure and renewable energy generation.
The new unit's launch coincided with an exchange offer to acquire all outstanding shares of IEnova not owned by Sempra Energy at an exchange ratio of 0.0313 shares of Sempra Energy common stock for each ordinary share of IEnova stock, which will be listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV).
"We are excited about today's announcement. In large measure, it is because we believe Sempra Infrastructure Partners is well positioned to be a leader in the global energy transition," said Jeffrey W. Martin, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy.
"By focusing on the critical need for new energy infrastructure right here in North America, both Sempra LNG and IEnova have created a significant pipeline of development projects that are expected to provide differentiated growth for decades to come. More importantly, this will provide an improved platform for innovation and potential new investments in renewables, hydrogen, energy storage and carbon sequestration."
Sempra Infrastructure Partners will include, among other assets:
- The LNG portfolio consisting of approximately 45 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG export capacity in development, construction or operation on the North American Pacific and Gulf Coasts;
- The natural gas infrastructure portfolio consisting of distribution companies and certain cross-border and in-country pipelines, including those that export U.S. natural gas to Mexico and supply the Energía Costa Azul LNG facility; and
- The renewable portfolio consisting of roughly 4GW of renewable energy generation in development, construction or operation in Mexico and related electric transmission infrastructure.
Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, the company expects to complete these transactions in the first quarter of 2021.
"As part of Sempra Energy's family of companies, IEnova has delivered critical energy infrastructure to the country of Mexico for over two decades, supporting economic growth and the health and wellbeing of millions.
"With the proposed transactions announced today, we are proud to reaffirm our belief in Mexico's bright future and look forward to helping both Mexico and the US unlock greater opportunities for continued economic collaboration, expansion and prosperity," added Martin.
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.