Volta Energy Technologies has launched a new model to assess the crowded field of battery and energy storage innovations and invest in those breakthroughs with the greatest promise for commercial application.
Founded by industry leaders, Volta connects deep technical and product development knowledge with established investment mechanisms. Volta’s mission is to deliver both strategic and financial returns for its investors by identifying, validating, and investing in promising energy storage and battery technology that has the potential to transform the industry and grow the market.
An important aspect of Volta’s strategy is to partner with corporate investors that come from complementary sectors of the energy system. Exelon, the nation’s largest producer of emissions-free energy and the largest utility company by customer count, and Albemarle Corporation, the leading lithium supplier for energy storage and other applications, are the founding investors in Volta. The companies together have committed to fund Volta to identify and invest in promising new energy storage technologies.
“The energy sector is undergoing a transformation,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “We must help lead the nation through this change by investing in the next big innovations that provide the best commercial and customer solutions. Exelon launched and invested in Volta because we operate at the forefront of energy innovation, and energy storage represents an important next frontier.”
“Investing in Volta is a strategic priority for us,” said Luke Kissam, CEO of Albemarle Corporation. “Many expect that there will be exciting innovations in lithium battery technology in the future, and we want to be a part of any process that might identify new technologies to power the potential of clean energy solutions. We are excited about ultimately creating value in the markets, and for Albemarle, through our partnership with Volta.”
The booming energy storage market will fundamentally shift the way we produce, distribute and use energy, with the worldwide advanced battery and storage market projected to rise to more than $100 billion within a decade. Yet bringing rapidly advancing technology to market remains a principal challenge for the industry. Traditional venture capital funds often lack the expertise and patience required to advance innovations from lab to market, and public research institutions are not charged with commercializing their work. Volta’s model bridges these gaps and offers a solution.
“Volta’s model is built to identify the winning technologies and businesses in the rapidly evolving battery and energy storage sectors. This enables major, market-moving companies and other investors to choose wisely the technologies that will shape our future energy system,” said Volta founder and CEO Jeff Chamberlain.
“During my 24 years in the private sector and at national labs, I saw firsthand how challenging it is for a single entity to develop a new physical technology—or for a single investor to identify the right opportunity, let alone take it to market,” Chamberlain said. “Volta brings together a team of battery storage and investment experts to tap into the unmatched capabilities of the U.S. national laboratory system to identify and overcome deal-killing technical challenges.”
Volta will deliver value for innovators and strategic investors by using an often untapped resource—relationships with U.S. national laboratories and global research institutions—to source and validate the most promising energy storage technologies. For example, Volta’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Argonne National Laboratory allows the group to validate emerging technology and solve technical challenges that pose barriers to transforming valuable technology into new products for consumers. Argonne has world-leading capabilities in analyzing, inventing, developing, testing and scaling energy storage materials and systems—for both vehicles and the electrical grid.
“Argonne National Laboratory’s expertise and capabilities in energy storage and battery testing will be a tremendous asset to the entrepreneurs, technologists and companies that are creating new economic opportunities in the energy system,” said Argonne director Paul K. Kearns. “Volta will complement Argonne’s other substantial efforts to enable successful entrepreneurial efforts. We look forward to working with Volta’s team and support ongoing innovation in this critical energy sector.”
Over the next year, Volta will seek additional like-minded investors who have energy storage as a key element of their business strategy. Companies interested in learning more about investment opportunities or technologists with promising energy storage solutions should visit plusvolta.com for more information on the model and upcoming investment announcements.