Australia’s CSIRO has formed a partnership with US liquid battery developer, Boulder Ionics, to further the development of a new cost effective energy storage technology aimed at enabling the delivery of 24/7 renewable electricity.
The alliance was announced by ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht on Wednesday, along with an investment of around $530,000 in the Colorado-based company, made through the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, which was established under the former Gillard government’s ARENA’s $100 million Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund Program.
Boulder Ionics says the funds will be used to support a collaborative research program and license arrangement with the CSIRO, and to create an Australian subsidiary of Boulder Ionics.
More specifically, said Frischknecht, the project aims to create a pathway to market for the CSIRO’s home-grown liquid battery technology with applications for a variety of battery storage uses, including renewable energy.
“This project has the potential to create a local technology that will reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies and advance Australia’s reputation for world-leading renewable energy solutions,” he said.
“Ionic liquids have the potential to provide a cost effective renewable energy storage solution that improves energy distribution and enhances the safety and performance of battery storage.
“Boulder Ionics will bring its unique ionic liquid production method to experts at CSIRO who will use it to improve the way they make battery electrolytes.”
Boulder’s liquid battery technology has also attracted funding in the US, through a $4.3 million Series A financing round as well as grant awards totaling almost $2 million from the National Science Foundation, US Air Force and US Navy.
The Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund is a 13-year venture capital fund that was established under the Australian Government’s $100 million Renewable Energy Venture Capital (REVC) Fund Program.