Exelon, the nation’s largest utility company by customer count, and Albemarle Corporation, a lithium supplier for energy storage and other applications, have partnered to form Volta Energy Technologies.
A press release on the Volta website states it is “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.”
“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.
The energy storage market is poised to shift the way energy is produced, distributed and used, with the worldwide advanced battery and storage market projected to rise to more than $100 billion within a decade. According to Volta, 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. The company claims its model bridges these gaps and offers a solution.
“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,” Chamberlain said.
Volta plans to leverage 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.
“The energy sector is undergoing a transformation,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “Exelon launched and invested in Volta because we operate at the forefront of energy innovation, and energy storage represents an important next frontier.”
Over the next year, Volta will seek additional like-minded investors who have energy storage as a key element of their business strategy.
“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.”