Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, along with investors like Bill Gates, Fortistar, Paulson & Co., and few other investors, have invested $144 million in Ambri, a U.S.-based energy storage company.
The company will utilize the funding to commercialize and grow its long-duration energy storage system business globally.
Reliance New Energy Solar would invest $50 million to acquire 42.3 million shares of preferred stock in Ambri. Both companies are also in discussion for collaboration to develop a large-scale battery manufacturing facility in India that could add scale and lower the cost for Reliance’s green energy initiative.
In June 2021, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, announced plans to build a Giga factory in Jamnagar, Gujarat, to store intermittent energy as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex Project.
“We are exploring new and advance electrochemical technologies that can be used for such large-scale grid batteries to storge 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,” said Ambani.
Ambri will manufacture calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerized systems that are cheaper compared to lithium-ion batteries. These systems would operate safely in any climate condition without requiring supplemental air conditioning and could last over 20 years with minimal degradation. The systems would suit high-usage applications like shifting power from daytime solar generation to evening and morning peak load times.
The company said Ambri’s long-duration energy storage systems – designed to last between 4-24 hours – would break through the cost, longevity, and safety-related challenges associated with lithium-ion batteries utilized in grid-scale stationary storage applications. The systems wound allow a key energy storage solution to support the increasing amount of renewable energy being integrated into electric power grids.
Last month, Reliance Industries Limited formed Reliance New Energy Solar Limited investing ₹100,000 (~$1342) for 10,000 equity shares of ₹10 (~$0.13) each.
According to Mercom Research, in Q1 2019, Ambri, a developer of transformative utility-scale liquid metal battery technology, raised $17.3 million in funding.
According to Mercom Capital Group’s 1H and Q2 2021 Funding and M&A Report for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency, battery storage companies in 1H 2021 raised $4.4 billion in VC funding globally.