Ambri funding meets scale of battery tech
Raises $144M to advance antimony liquid-metal batteries Metal Tech News – August 11, 2021
Last updated 8/17/2021 at 3:05pm
Ambri Inc., which is advancing antimony-based liquid-metal battery technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has secured a $144 million financing to commercialize and grow its daily cycling, long-duration battery technology, and to build a domestic manufacturing facility.
This latest round of financing announced by the company on Aug. 9 was led by strategic investors Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd., India's largest private sector company, and New York-based investment firm Paulson & Co. Inc.
Bill Gates, Ambri's largest shareholder, along with new investors Fortistar, Goehring & Rozencwajg Associates, and Japan Energy Fund were among the financing participants.
The long-duration liquid-metal batteries developed by Ambri, which are based on its patented technology, have been designed to break through the cost, longevity, and safety barriers associated with lithium-ion batteries-enabling a critically necessary storage solution as increasing amounts of renewable energy are integrated into electrical grids.
Ambri will use the proceeds to design and construct high-volume manufacturing facilities in the United States and internationally that will supply its battery systems to meet the growing demand from the grid-scale energy storage market increasingly being provided with intermittent renewable energy such as wind and solar, as well as reliable storage for data centers and other large industrial energy customers.
"This financing supports the commercial growth of our company and technology," said Ambri Executive Chairman Dan Leff. "Further, these funds are instrumental to driving our efforts to scale the company's operations and establish our manufacturing infrastructure to meet rapidly expanding customer demand. We are delighted that our newest shareholders, who are world-class investors and strategic partners, are joining Ambri's journey."
As part of the transaction, Reliance New Energy Solar has been selected as a strategic partner to develop and manufacture Ambri's batteries in India.
"Reliance Industries sees this strategic partnership with Ambri as an important step in its journey of achieving its decarbonization goals. Our investment in Ambri is part of our broader plan to develop the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex, which will be amongst the largest integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the world and the epicenter of India's Green Economy movement," said Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Partnering with developers of renewable projects, Ambri is now able to scale for projects from 10 megawatt-hours to more than two gigawatt-hours around the globe.
"Our firm has been focused on emerging technologies that provide sustainability solutions now, and Ambri's one-of-a-kind batteries fit the bill," said Mark Comora, president of Fortistar, a privately-owned investment firm that provides capital to companies addressing complex sustainability challenges. "This novel, low-cost technology will help integrate more wind and solar power into grids around the globe, especially in areas that are more remote, have been more reliant on fossil fuels, or experience extreme temperatures. This will help level the playing field when it comes to decarbonization efforts that are critical to tackling climate change, and we are proud to invest in a company that is delivering meaningful benefits with real financial value."
The company will manufacture calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerized 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 says its electrical storage systems are particularly suited for high-usage applications, such as shifting energy from daytime solar generation to evening and morning peak load times. The batteries are designed to last for durations ranging from four to 24 hours. The company is securing customers for large-scale projects with commercial operation dates in 2023 and beyond.
To secure a domestic supply of the antimony it needs for these batteries, Ambri has entered into a long-term antimony supply agreement with Perpetua Resources Corp., whose largest shareholder is Paulson & Co. Inc.
"We've been looking for an opportunity to help finance important technologies for large-scale utility-grade battery storage systems," said John Paulson. "Ambri's novel battery technology is ready to deliver a low-cost, durable and safe battery for longer duration applications that will enable a stable grid that incorporates an increasing amount of intermittent renewable generation. Perpetua Resources, a natural resource company in Idaho, is also an ideal supply chain partner for Ambri, given that it has the largest domestic deposit of antimony, which is a key mineral in Ambri's battery chemistry."
More information on Perpetua Resources and its agreement to supply Ambri with antimony from its Stibnite Mine project in Idaho can be read at Perpetua to supply antimony for batteries in the current edition of Metal Tech News.