Reliance New Energy Solar to invest $144 million in Ambri

By Dominic Ellis
Together with strategic investors Paulson & Co and Bill Gates, RNESL will help Ambri grow its long-duration energy storage systems business globally

Reliance New Energy Solar (RNESL) is investing US$144 million in Ambri, an energy storage company based in Massachusetts, USA.

Together with strategic investors Paulson & Co, a private investment management firm, and Bill Gates, RNESL will help Ambri - which can cater to projects that require energy storage systems from 10 MWh to over 2 GWh - commercialise and grow its long-duration energy storage systems business globally. RNESL will invest US$50 million to acquire 42.3 million shares of preferred stock.

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, and support the increasing amounts of renewable energy being integrated into electric power grids.

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

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani had previously announced plans to build a Giga Factory in Jamnagar for the storage of intermittent energy, as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project. “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,” he said.

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 are particularly suited for 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 operation in 2023 and beyond.

Technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 5.2 MW / 5.2 MWh energy storage system to provide the frequency regulation in the ancillary service market for the Taiwanese grid as the Asian country seeks to achieve 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The order was placed in August by Shangfa Construction who will build the energy storage facility on behalf of North-Star International.

LG Energy Solution is hosting an international battery contest to spur active research within the battery industry, and entries can be made until the end of September. Scholars of universities and research institutes can submit their proposals here.

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