Barclays joins Series A funding round of energy storage technology company Energy Dome
Barclays joins fellow investors 360 Capital and Novum Capital Partners in Series A Funding Round, and Agreement Reached with Strategic Investor A2A for an Initial 100 Megawatt-Hour, Grid-Connected CO2 Battery Deployment
Through its Sustainable Impact Capital Programme, Barclays has taken a stake in Energy Dome, an Italian energy storage technology company founded in 2019, as part of a $11M Series A fundraise. Energy Dome will use the proceeds to complete the construction of its CO2 Battery demonstration project in Sardinia, Italy, and to accelerate the growth of the business.
The CO2 Battery’s optimal charge/discharge cycle ranges from 4 to 24 hours, positioning it perfectly for daily and intra-day cycling, a fast-growing market segment that is not well served by existing battery technologies. Significantly, the CO2 Battery can be charged during daytime when there is surplus solar generation and dispatched during the subsequent evening and next-morning peaks, when solar generation falls short of demand. The modular, scalable energy storage solution will allow for solar and wind generation to be dispatchable 24 hours per day.
Using low-cost, off-the-shelf components in a patented, closed thermodynamic process, CO2 Battery achieves a 75-80% round-trip efficiency. And, unlike lithium-ion batteries that suffer significant performance degradation during their 7-10 year design life, the CO2 Battery maintains its performance during its expected 25 year operational life. Consequently, the cost of storing energy will be about half of the cost of storing with similar sized lithium-ion batteries.
The oversubscribed fundraising round saw Barclays invest alongside deep technology venture capital firm 360 Capital Geneva-based multi-family office Novum Capital Partners, and Third Derivative, a global climate technology start-up accelerator founded by RMI and New Energy Nexus.
Alongside the fundraise, Italian company A2A, a strategic investor via limited partnership with 360 Capital, has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with Energy Dome to deploy the company’s first commercial project. This proposed 100 megawatt-hour (MWh) CO2 Battery could support the increased use of renewable power in the generation mix and address the growing need for energy storage on electrical grids.
Energy Dome has achieved this paradigm shift in the cost of storage by using CO2 in a closed loop cycle where it changes from gas, to liquid and back to gas. The titular “dome” is an inflatable atmospheric gas holder filled with CO2 in its gaseous form. When charging, the system draws electrical power from the electric grid, which feeds a motor. The motor drives a compressor which draws CO2 from the dome and compresses it, generating heat which is stored in a thermal energy storage device. The CO2 is then liquified under pressure and stored in liquid CO2 vessels, at ambient temperature, to complete the charging cycle. When discharging, the cycle is reversed by evaporating the liquid CO2, recovering the heat from the thermal energy storage system, and expanding the hot CO2 into a turbine, which drives a generator. Electricity is returned to the grid and the CO2 re-inflates the dome without emissions to the atmosphere, ready for the next charging cycle. The system components are standardised and modular, allowing for up to 200 MWh in storage capacity, and targeting a wide range of customers including utilities, independent power producers, grid operators, industrial applications and remote mining Operations.
The company was founded and is led by serial energy entrepreneur Claudio Spadacini. In less than two years, Energy Dome’s team of engineers turned an engineering concept into reality with patents filed and a 2.5MW x 4MWh demonstration plant now under construction in Sardinia and expected to be tested and validated in the first quarter of 2022.
“Grid systems across the world need effective, low-cost storage to pair with renewable energy,” said Claudio Spadacini, founder and CEO of Energy Dome. “We’re excited to be leveraging this investment and agreement to accelerate our deployment of this transformational technology. We thank all of the supporters who made today’s announcement possible.”
“Energy Dome’s ground breaking technology addresses the issue that transitioning to a low carbon economy requires not only renewable energy sources, but effective ways of storing this energy, to help balance supply with demand,” said Steven Poulter, Head of Principal Structuring and Investments at Barclays. “Barclays is pleased to be supporting Energy Dome’s next stage of growth, as they continue to drive efforts to reduce carbon emissions worldwide”.
About Energy Dome
Energy Dome is an energy storage technology company that fights climate change using CO2 as part of the solution to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy. Led by a team with a track record of innovation in the energy sector, ENERGY DOME uses CO2 as a working fluid in a closed thermodynamic process to store energy and make renewable power dispatchable. For more information, please visit www.energydome.com.
About Barclays’ Sustainable Impact Capital Programme
As part of the firm’s broader commitments, Barclays will invest £175m of its own capital, led by the Principal Investments team, in fast-growing, innovative, environmentally-focused companies whose values are aligned with those of Barclays and which target the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. Investments will be strategic to Barclays, its clients and the communities it serves, with clear scalable propositions that deliver both environmental benefits and economic returns. Find out more about the programme here.