Piva Capital Backs Malta, the Leader in Scalable Long-Duration Energy Storage, to Unlock the Renewable Revolution

Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, energy generated from solar, wind, and hydropower is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, increasing 100 percent from 2000 to 2018. By 2040, renewable energy is expected to make up 45 percent of our energy globally.

Increasing Energy Demand

This is good news because the move to “electrify everything” will dramatically increase global energy use. According to a study from Princeton University, using electricity to power our cars, buildings, demand for electricity will double by 2050 in the US alone. Given the increasing effects of climate change and a rapid push for emissions-free energy, renewable proliferation will rise up to meet the increased energy demand sustainably.

The Missing Piece for Mainstream Renewable Adoption: Long Duration Energy Storage

To be widely adopted, renewable energy needs to be on-cost parity with fossil fuel energy, including the cost to store it — a major hurdle for renewables to date. Wind and solar have significant fluctuations on when the energy is generated across the day, making storage critical to ensuring the grid can deliver the right amount of energy in the right place at the right time. Lithium batteries can store renewable energy, but become nearly prohibitively expensive at longer durations, especially over 8+ hours. This leaves a massive need in the market for low-cost, grid-scale, 8+ hour energy storage in order to truly unlock renewable energy penetration at scale.

Enter Malta, a Company Poised to Deliver Long-Duration Energy Storage at Scale

At Piva, our mission is to identify, invest and support visionary entrepreneurs and companies that are solving the world’s most critical problems in industry and energy. As the global economy looks to reconfigure its structure to create equitable value whilst addressing our climate crisis, we see a huge opportunity in long-duration energy storage solutions.

We are thrilled to announce that we have invested in Malta, a company that has developed an electro-thermal energy storage system. Levering molten salt, Malta can store energy at the grid-scale for over a week at a time, filling that key gap in the market. In addition, a key differentiator for Malta is its ability to provide rotating inertia to help stabilize the grid.

While the use of molten salt as an energy storage medium is not new, Malta’s unique approach to the market, as well as its strong partnerships with industry leaders (Including Alfa Laval and Siemens Energy), will unlock reliable, cost-effective storage at scale. When run on renewables, Malta’s system also produces emissions-free industrial grade heat which can be used for carbon-free district heating, among other uses. Its flexible model and small footprint enable its technology to work in multiple configurations, including the ability to repurpose existing coal plant sites that are being wound down. Malta expects to have its first utility-sized plant online by as soon as 2024.

Joining the $60 Million Series B

Piva, alongside Chevron Technology Ventures, has joined a strong syndicate of investors including Proman, Alfa Laval, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Dustin Moskowitz in Malta’s Series B round, increasing the total amount to over $60M. The funds will be used to advance Malta’s commercialization strategy and its first 100 megawatt (MW) long-duration storage project.

Like all of Piva’s investments, Malta has an impressive executive team, led by CEO Ramya Swaminathan, a former investment banker that financed public infrastructure and then co-founded Rye Development, a hydro-powered energy generation company. Ms. Swaminathan led Malta’s spin-out from X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X). Her passion and that of her team for developing solutions to solve the world’s increasing need for reliable, large-scale, and long-term energy storage is a large part of what makes Malta such a natural fit for the Piva portfolio. We are proud to be involved and excited to see what we will achieve together.

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