Energy Vault, which recently raised $100 million in Series C funding, has achieved another milestone. The technology company, which uses gravity-based grid-scale energy storage to accelerate global decarbonization, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) through a merger with Novus Capital Corporation II.
The two companies jointly announced that they’ve entered into a business agreement in order to trade on the NYSE under the symbol $GWHR. The transaction values the newly combined company at $1.1 billion and is expected to provide an additional $388 million in gross cash.
Robert Piconi will lead the combined company as the Chairman and CEO. In a press release that was emailed to me, the company pointed out that the demand for clean energy is growing globally. Renewables are expected to become 90% of total energy generation by 2050, and the company wants to support this transition by doing its part to increase grid-scale energy storage capacity tenfold, which will be needed in the next ten years.
To do this, Energy Vault developed a gravity energy storage platform designed to be cost-efficient, reliable, and safe to operate while also benefitting the environment. The press release noted:
“It is inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on the power of gravity to store and discharge energy, combined with Energy Vault’s own material science and software innovations: it has replaced water with custom-made composite blocks, made with locally sourced soil or waste material, which are lifted and lowered to store and release energy on-demand. This proprietary system is orchestrated by Energy Vault’s AI-enabled software platform that incorporates advanced computer control and machine vision. The end result is a resilient supply of power and storage capacity with a system designed to have greater operational flexibility for both short and long duration storage, high round-trip-efficiency, lower capital and operating expenses, and an overall higher asset efficiency than competitors given the lack of degradation in the storage medium over.”
Energy Vault has also worked with large global utilities and independent power producers to optimize its energy storage technology platform and to ensure flexibility. Its first commercial-scale, 5 MW energy storage system was successfully connected to Switzerland’s national grid in 2020. The focus was on ancillary service performance, system round trip efficiency, and continuous power dispatching protocols; all of which were incorporated into the company’s latest design of a modular, flexible, higher power, and compact product architecture: the EVx™ platform.
The company focuses on addressing the issue of waste from existing energy generation assets. It’s doing this through a circular economic approach to the supply chain that is built upon the foundations of recyclability and environmental sustainability. Its technology is capable of recycling waste materials. An example of such is coal combustion residuals and glass fivers from decommissioned wind turbine blades. These normally end up in landfills.
The company utilizes advanced material science in collaboration with CEMEX’s material science lab and is able to sequester the waste materials within the composite blocks of its gravity-based energy storage systems. The company also has a pipeline of customers that are trying to address the issue of sustainable disposal as well as beneficial re-use of coal combustion residuals, which are the largest industrial waste streams generated in the U.S. every year.
Robert Piconi, CEO & Co-Founder of Energy Vault, shared thoughts on the new business combination with Novus.
“Energy Vault’s technology is designed to provide a cost-efficient, flexible and sustainable energy storage solution to meet the immediate needs of utilities, power producers and large industrial energy consumers that must solve the problem of power intermittency that is inherent with wind and solar energy generation. We developed our energy storage solution to get to market quickly given the urgent and global imperative to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy sector. Through the deployment of our transformative technology, which can store clean energy for grid-scale deployments while uniquely utilizing waste materials for beneficial reuse in the process, Energy Vault is re-defining the role that energy storage companies can and should play within a circular economic framework.
“We are excited to announce our business combination with Novus and look forward to becoming a public company given our recent advances in commercial scale technology validation and rapid customer adoption, which require additional capital to meet the global, multi-continent demand. As we focus now on the execution and deployment phase of the technology, we are thrilled to partner with the team at Novus who fully supports our mission of decarbonization and brings a deep experience set in new technology market development on a global scale.”
Robert Laikin, CEO of Novus, also gave a statement:
“Energy Vault is bringing an entirely new energy storage solution to the energy market and will lower the costs for utility companies and power producers that are transitioning to renewables but who need to maintain consistent energy supply to deliver dispatchable power. Their unique approach to addressing the need for dispatchable power delivery through their creation of transformative technologies while reusing waste materials in their process, sets them apart from any other player in the market, and makes them an obvious choice as a partner.
“We are thrilled to be joining Rob and his team at such a pivotal moment for the company and have every confidence in their ability to capture the rapidly growing energy storage opportunity. Since our IPO in early 2021, we looked at over 100 companies and we found a fantastic company, with a public company ready management team addressing a massive global market need that is underserved with existing solutions today. In our view, Energy Vault is the only grid-scale pure ESG energy storage company that exists in the market today.”
Bill Gross, CEO and Chairman of Idealab Studio, and Co-Founder of Energy Vault, touched on how Energy Vault is helping to solve one of the largest challenges with energy storage:
“We founded Idealab 25 years ago to find technological solutions to the world’s biggest challenges, and then build companies with great leadership and talent to drive those solutions to market. One of the biggest challenges the world faces today is cost-effective, large-scale energy storage, and Energy Vault is the gravity-storage breakthrough to achieve that. I look forward to supporting Rob and his team as they take this technology globally as a public company.”
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