Malta Inc, Boston, Mass., raised $26 million in a Series A round of funding led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), Menlo Park, Calif., with participation from other investors, including Concord New Energy Group, Hong Kong, and Alfa Laval, Richmond, Va. Malta, which started as "Project Malta" at X, Alphabet's Moonshot Factory, Mountain View, Calif., is now an independent company outside of Alphabet.
"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," says Ramya Swaminathan, chief executive officer of Malta Inc.
The Malta energy storage system stores energy in the form of a thermal differential between hot and cold storage media. It is based on a system that stores electricity as heat in high-temperature molten salt and cold in a low-temperature antifreeze liquid. While incubated at X, Alphabet's Moonshot Factory, the project underwent a rigorous evaluation and de-risking process.
Malta will work in collaboration with industry partners to turn the detailed designs developed and refined at X into industrial-grade machinery for its first pilot system. Malta's system can store electricity for days or even weeks, until needed. The electricity can come from any source (i.e. wind, sun or fossil fuels) in any location.
"A lack of affordable, reliable grid-scale energy storage is currently limiting the shift to renewable energy. Malta's technology gives us a shot at storing all the renewable energy we create cheaply and reliably. With X having done our part to bring Malta's technology as far as we can take it, we're excited to hand the baton to the Malta team for the next phase of product development and deployment," says Raj Apte, science ddviser at X, the Moonshot Factory.
"Solving the intermittency problem of renewable energy is a critical part of delivering inexpensive and reliable clean energy, which is why storage is an important area of investment for BEV," says Carmichael Roberts, founder and managing partner of BEV. "Malta's energy storage system is a different and promising approach from conventional batteries, using existing components and inexpensive resources to store energy as heat, and that makes the system cost-effective to scale. We're also excited about this investor syndicate, pooling our unique resources to bring this technology to market."
"With the rise in electricity being generated from renewable resources, the demand for energy storage has become higher, and innovation in energy storage technology will become critical for using clean energy effectively. Malta's energy storage technology can be widely applied to various energy storage markets such as grid peak load shifting, auxiliary services, distributed energy resources, business and industrial parks and more, with considerable development potential. Our investment in Malta Inc. has strategic significance for the further development of our energy project investment operations and technical services business line and benefits the interests of our company and shareholders as a whole," says Liu Shunxing, chairman of Concord New Energy Group.
"We believe that Malta is a very interesting initiative with great potential," says Susanne Pahlén Åklundh, president of Alfa Laval's energy division. "We will bring our unique expertise within heat transfer technology, including design and production of heat exchangers, to the invaluable knowledge and resources within the group of investors in Malta Inc. We are excited to partner with them to bring this innovative new approach in energy storage to the market."