e-Zinc raises $25 million to commercialize long-lived technology

Zinc: versatile, abundant and used by various energy storage companies at different stages of commercialization. Image: Wikimedia, high resolution images of chemical elements.

E-Zinc, a Canadian company that claims its metallic zinc battery technology could provide low-cost, long-lasting energy storage, has raised US$25 million.

Founded in 2012, the company’s Series A funding round closing announced today comes two years after it raised seed funding and began demonstrating how the battery could be combined with solar PV and generation. network, developing its own balance of system solutions (BoS) along the way. .

The technology is being touted as a way to replace diesel generators by providing backup power for periods ranging from half a day to five days, with a particular focus on remote or off-grid sites.

In other words, the battery has storage and discharge times far beyond what is typically achieved with the leading historical lithium-ion grid storage battery technology, which currently has an upper limit of about four to eight hours before becoming prohibitive.

This ability to discharge to full rated power for several days would potentially exceed the capabilities of other non-lithium alternatives like flow batteries and most mechanical and thermal storage plants, such as Form’s multi-day iron-air battery. Energy and green hydrogen may be the closest comparison.

However, e-Zinc has not yet moved beyond the pilot stage – one project it is already working on is a 40kW system with 24-48 hour storage time that will be paired with a solar photovoltaic array in California. This pilot is installed on a commercial greenhouse site and was supported by funding from the California Energy Commission.

The project has been verified and described in a blog for Energy-Storage.news by Dr. Josef Daniel-Ivad, Director of the Zinc Battery Initiative trade group of which e-Zinc is a member.

During the day, the battery system will take charge of solar energy to discharge during peak hours and to power the irrigation of the installation at night. It can also be used to provide backup power and is expected to go live by the end of this year.

Daniel-Ivad has also written about the importance of zinc in battery history, it was a component of the world’s first battery manufactured by Allessandro Volta and now taken over by various energy storage technology companies as a possible answer to data center, other commercial and industrial applications. (C&I) and even residential applications.

e-Zinc’s technology is also being tested in the UK, as part of a project with EDF-owned energy storage developer-investor Pivot Power, and aided by funding from the Department for Business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) of the country’s government under a program. support long-term energy storage technologies through to commercialization.

Investors include Toyota Ventures and Eni’s VC arm

With the latest funding round, led by industrial and life sciences investment firm Anzu Partners, e-Zinc will begin pilot production of commercial energy storage systems. Other investors in the round include Canadian venture capital group BDC Capital, Toyota Ventures and Eni Next.

In addition to investing in the company and its technology, the investors will be important strategic partners and advisors to e-Zinc, with Toyota Ventures expected to help it evolve its manufacturing and supply chain agreements, while that the renewable energy projects of the parent company of Eni Next, Eni could provide suitable sites for the deployment of the battery.

“While solar and wind deployments are on track to reach record highs, solving the issue of intermittency is critical, which is why we are delighted to support e-Zinc,” said Lisa Coca, Toyota Ventures climate fund partner.

“The company’s innovative battery architecture decouples power from power to enable cost-effective, long-lasting energy storage, bringing us one step closer to a carbon-free future.”

Another company using zinc as a key component of its energy storage technology, Eos Energy Enterprises, recently released its 2021 annual report. As reported by Energy-Storage.news Today, Eos has an order book of just under US$150 million and expects to grow its revenue more than tenfold from US$4.6 million in 2021 to around US$50 million. US dollars in 2022.

However, Eos, already in the stage of commercial deployments for large microgrids, C&I and grid-scale customers, does not expect to reach profitability before the end of 2023 and recorded a net loss of 124 million for the past year, primarily related to the high costs of scaling and expanding its reach into new markets globally.