Alphabet spins off renewable energy storage facility startup Malta with Gates’s BEV fund backing

The renewable energy storage project, Malta, which started in Alphabet’s experimental X lab, is now on its own and now called Malta Inc. Launched in 2017 as Project Malta, the venture aims to revolutionize energy storage facilities using a novel grid-scale architecture which generates energy from a mixture of molten salt and antifreeze.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet recognized the move, which it announced last week, as a milestone towards commercialization. While the new company continues to establish ways of deploying its technology in future products by engaging with experts in the power industries, Malta will in the coming months build a megawatt-scale pilot plant.

Malta Inc has designed an electro-thermal storage system that can reserve power generated from fossil fuels or renewable energy far longer than lithium-ion batteries. The system first stores energy generated from fossil, solar or wind generators on the grid by using the electrical energy to drive a heat pump. The process converts the energy into thermal energy or heat which is stored in molten salt, while the antifreeze liquid stores the cold. When the grid needs electricity, the heat is converted back to electricity using a heat engine.

Alphabet-renewable-energy-Malta

The electro-thermal storage system can store electricity for as long as weeks, Malta says.

The company has in April received a key patent for the energy storage technology, according to Stanford physicist and Nobel Prize winner Robert Laughlin, who designed the system and in May revealed the project details during a talk at Stanford.

Earlier this year, MIT technology review reported that Alphabet was in talks with Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) to spin out its molten-salt storage project Malta. The $1 billion fund led the renewable energy storage facility startup’s $26 million Series A. Investors led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures include Jeff Bezos, John Doerr, Michael Bloomberg, Ray Dalio, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Alibaba’s Jack Ma. Other investors include industrial company Alfa Laval of Sweden and solar and wind power developer Concord New Energy Group of Hong Kong.

Malta investors share the same vision with the company to promote the expansion of renewable energy by creating a “scalable storage solution,” said Ramya Swaminathan, Malta CEO. They are “truly partnering with us” in building a product of its first kind aside from the capital investment. “We appreciate their confidence in our strategy and in our team’s ability to execute on it.”

Malta’s goal is to produce the cheapest large-scale energy storage facilities better than lithium-ion batteries. Alphabet’s moonshot factory has produced a series of projects aside Project Malta, which is currently its latest. Alphabet’s X lab recently graduated two startups: balloon network, Loon that beams internet services to remote areas and drone delivery service Project Wing which is designed to improve access to goods. Waymo, a robotaxi company, which launched its commercial service in Arizona; Dandelion, geothermal energy division; life sciences startup Verily; and Chronicle cybersecurity Intelligence Company all graduated from Alphabet’s moonshot factory.

Avatar
Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

Recent Posts

5 Most Expensive Divorce Settlements in History

5 Most Expensive Divorce Settlements in History

Almost half of the marriages end in divorce is an oft-quoted adage, but surprisingly, this is not true in today’s world. The reasons are varied, gender equality, the higher p
11 hours ago
JPMorgan Chase appoints two new CIOS in bid to make its C-suite more diverse

JPMorgan Chase appoints two new CIOS in bid to make its C-suite more diverse

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, has appointed two new executives to head its information units in a bid to make its workforce more inclusive and increase racial an
11 hours ago
US solar energy sector sees 7% drop in jobs

US solar energy sector sees 7% drop in jobs

The U.S. solar industry witnessed a 7% cut in jobs due to the coronavirus and increasing use of labor-saving tech in the industry, according to an industry report. Job decline is n
12 hours ago
Blackstone puts in an offer of $1.68 billion for St Modwen

Blackstone puts in an offer of $1.68 billion for St Modwen

Blackstone, the private equity firm, is planning to acquire St Modwen Properties, a logistics and housing developer, for £1.2bn ($1.68 billion) in a bid to take advantage of the P
3 days ago
Tesla to lose millions as Stellantis ends CO2 credit buying deal

Tesla to lose millions as Stellantis ends CO2 credit buying deal

Stellantis, the carmaker formed earlier this year by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, has revealed that it no longer needs to buy emission credits from Tesla, which will result
3 days ago
AB InBev CEO Brito to step down

AB InBev CEO Brito to step down

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s Chief Executive Officer Carlos Brito will step down from his role, effective July 1 and Michel Doukeris will succeed him as the new CEO. Brito, who beca
3 days ago