Axiom Exergy, Richmond, Calif., raised $7.6 million in Series A funding, for a total of $12.5 million raised to date. The round was co-led by GXP Investments, Kansas City, Mo., and Shell Ventures, The Netherlands, and included WorldQuant Ventures, Bridgeport, Conn.; SV Tech Ventures, Palo Alto, Calif.; and Meson Capital, Menlo Park, Calif.

“Energy storage is a critical technology that enables the ongoing deployment of renewables on the grid,” says Dennis Odell, vice president at GXP Investments. “Axiom Exergy has developed a unique, intelligent solution that provides unparalleled distributed energy benefits to supermarkets and cold storage facilities and delivers immediate value to these underserved markets.”

“Axiom’s refrigeration battery platform transforms large, inflexible refrigeration systems into intelligent, flexible, long-duration batteries,” says Vikas Gupta, venture principal of Shell Ventures. “This could position Axiom as the energy industry’s gateway to the cold chain. We are excited to be supporting a unique power management platform designed for refrigerated facilities.”

Axiom Exergy’s refrigeration battery is said to reduce peak energy demand by up to 40% and shifts electricity consumption to off-peak hours. By leveraging the store’s existing refrigeration system, the refrigeration battery “stores cooling” at night by freezing tanks of salt water when electricity costs are low. Then, during the day when electricity prices are high, it “discharges” by providing uninterrupted cooling services to the facility rather than running the power-hungry central refrigeration systems.

“The Axiom Exergy team has combined its cost-effective thermal energy storage system with its advanced predictive data analytics engine to provide valuable energy flexibility to the cold chain,” says Mark Danchak, managing director of WorldQuant Ventures. “This is a market where lowering energy costs and reducing operational risk have big impacts on the bottom line.”

The funding allows Axiom Exergy to scale its thermal energy storage solution in large, multi-site rollouts at grocery stores and cold storage facilities. Additionally, Axiom plans to begin rolling out additional features of the refrigeration battery platform (such as grid services) and address new segments of the world’s cooling markets.

“Refrigeration systems, which account for more than 9% of commercial energy consumption, must operate around the clock to keep the food cold. As electricity grids and prices become increasingly unstable, inflexible refrigerated facilities find themselves in a difficult position,” says Amrit Robbins, co-founder and CEO of Axiom Exergy. “Utilities manage intermittent renewable generation and spiky electric vehicle charging loads through price signals to customers, and grocery stores are currently unable to respond to these price signals in a meaningful way. The refrigeration battery is the ideal solution to enable energy flexibility for the cold chain, and it simultaneously helps enable more renewables on the grid. We’re excited to find so many food retailers, investors and electrical utilities that share our vision of transforming refrigeration systems into flexible, intelligent energy storage assets.”