RIL enters the Lithium-ion battery business by purchasing a stake in a US company

Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has made its first acquisition as part of the group’s new energy aspirations. In addition to Paulson & Co. Inc., Bill Gates, and a few other investors have announced a $144 million investment in Ambri Inc, a Massachusetts-based energy storage startup.

RIL stated in an early morning statement that the investment will help the company commercialise and build its long-duration energy storage solutions business globally. RNESL will invest $50 million in Ambri to purchase 42.3 million preferred stock shares.

Ambri’s long-duration energy storage devices, which are based on proprietary technology and designed to last between 4 and 24 hours, will break through the cost, longevity, and safety limitations associated with lithium-ion batteries used in grid-scale stationary storage applications.

 “They will provide a critical energy storage solution capable of sustaining the growing amount of renewable energy being incorporated into electric power grids,” says the company.

RNESL and Ambri are also in talks to form an exclusive partnership to build a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in India, which would help Reliance’s green energy project gain scale and lower prices, according to the statement.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani revealed plans to develop a Giga Factory in Jamnagar for the storage of intermittent energy during a shareholder meeting in June this year as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project.

“We’re looking into new and improved electrochemical technologies that could be employed in large-scale grid batteries to store the energy we’ll generate. “Through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity, we will cooperate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the best reliability for round-the-clock power availability,” Ambani added.

Ambri can handle projects requiring energy storage systems ranging from 10 MWh to more than 2 GWh. The company plans to produce calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerized systems that are less expensive than lithium-ion batteries, can operate safely in any climate without extra air cooling, and are expected to survive for more than 20 years with minimum deterioration. Ambri systems are well-suited to high-usage applications, such as transferring energy from solar generating during the day to peak load times in the evening and morning. Customers are being secured for large-scale projects that will begin commercial operations in 2023 and beyond.

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