Manufacturing News

MGA Thermal scales up for thermal energy storage

Manufacturing News

Newcastle clean energy storage manufacturer MGA Thermal today announced it had raised $8 million to expand its manufacturing facilities to cater for rising export demand for its thermal energy storage systems.

The company, which has developed small shoe-box sixed modular storage blocks based on Miscibility Gaps Alloy (MGA) technology, raised the funding from existing shareholder CP Ventures and a group led by CSIRO’s venture capital arm, Main Sequence Ventures.

New investors in the company are Alberts Impact Capital, New Zealand’s Climate Venture Capital Fund, The Melt, and angel investors including Chris Sang, Emlyn Scott, and Glenn Butcher.

MGA is aiming its modular block storage system at solar and wind farms as well as existing power plants to store large amounts of dispatchable energy to meet demand in off-peak or high-demand scenarios.

Miscibility Gaps Alloy can be formed between metallic (or semi-metallic) elements, and when assembled into blocks can take energy and store it as heat for later recovery..

MGA Thermal’s blocks, which can be stacked like building blocks or bricks, are able to store millions of kilowatt-hours of energy – a stack of 1000 blocks about the size of a small car is enough energy stored to power 27 homes for 24 hours.

MGA Thermal is working with partners E2S Power AG and Peregrine Turbine Technologies LLC to deploy the technology in Australia, Europe, and North America.

The company’s founders Erich Kisi and Alex Post and team are global experts in MGA materials after nearly a decade of research and development at the University of Newcastle.

CEO Kisi said: “Our mission is to help accelerate the shift to renewable energy by providing a new way to store energy that’s clean, economical, and scalable. We are gratified by our investors’ recognition of our achievements and their confidence in our ability to execute on this exciting new phase of growth.

“We believe that thermal storage will play an important role in the energy transition, and are overwhelmed with international and domestic interest to date. The potential opportunities and use cases for our technology are extensive.

“Whether it’s retrofitting our thermal power stations, providing power to remote communities, supplying heat to industry, heating houses and commercial spaces, or heating for electric vehicles, this can all be powered using renewable energy stored in our MGA blocks.”

The company was recently awarded an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant from the Australian Government which contributed to its pilot manufacturing plant accommodated in Newcastle on a site owned by mineral processing grinding media manufacturer Molycop group

Main Sequence partner Martin Duursma said bringing together state-of-the-art technology and private investment gives MGA Thermal an opportunity to make an impact on a large scale.

Duursma said: “A core focus of our new fund is uncovering the scientific discoveries and helping to turn them into real, tangible technologies so we can reverse our climate impact.

“Erich Kisi and Alexander Post’s impressive deep research backgrounds, their expert team, and innovative technology are paving the way for grid-scale energy storage and boosting the capability of a renewable energy future globally.” .

Picture: MGA Thermal co-founders Erich Kisi and Alex Post

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