Gates, Bezos Backing Alphabet Energy Storage Spinoff

on December 21, 2018

renewable-energy-magazineMalta Inc., which started as “Project Malta” at the Moonshot Factory, but is now an independent company, announced Wednesday that it has raised $26 million in a round of funding led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from other investors including Concord New Energy Group, a wind and solar power developer,  and Alfa Laval, a Swedish industrial company.

Bloomberg, of Bloomberg News fame, and Bezos, the founder of Amazon, are among Breakthrough Energy Ventures investors.

Microsoft founder Gates is the chairman of the fund, which also counts Masayoshi Son, the Japanese business magnate, and Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, as investors.

In a statement, Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta Inc., said “Our investors share our vision to create a scalable storage solution that will facilitate further expansion of renewable energy while improving grid stability and resilience across the globe.

“Beyond capital investment, they are truly partnering with us to build a first-of-a-kind product. We appreciate their confidence in our strategy and in our team’s ability to execute on it,” Swaminathan said.

The infusion of funds will allow Malta to further develop a system that uses large containers of molten salt and cooler liquid to store electricity generated from variable sources such as solar and wind.

The system is based on well-established principles in thermodynamics for a system that stores electricity as heat in high temperature molten salt and cold in a low temperature antifreeze liquid.

While incubated at Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory, the project underwent a rigorous evaluation and de-risking process.

Swaminathan, who previously ran Rye Development, a Boston-based developer of renewable energy projects, said Malta will now work with industry partners to turn the detailed designs developed and refined at X into industrial-grade machinery for its first pilot system.

As currently designed, Malta’s system can store electricity for days or even weeks, until it’s needed. The electricity can come from any source (i.e. wind, sun, or fossil fuels) in any location.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsGates, Bezos Backing Alphabet Energy Storage Spinoff