The unprecedented deployment of wind and solar energy has spurred massive demand for energy storage systems. Energy providers need these systems to ensure continuous, economical delivery of electricity to our homes and across large-scale physical industries. In America alone, some 600 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy storage is forecasted to be deployed within the next decade, in order to smooth out the time delay between peak generation and peak load. Aggressive renewable energy targets and legislation, such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), provide both additional pressure and tailwinds. The rapidly growing market — estimated to be $40B by 2030 — is prime for transformation for anyone capable of delivering mass-scale energy storage to our grid.
Today, the leading energy storage solutions are driven by lithium-ion batteries — specifically Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), which are rich in critical minerals and primarily sourced from China. Although these chemistries were a huge success as a driver of the electric vehicle industry, they have fundamental issues which make them ill-suited for other applications, such as stationary storage. For example, the costs of these energy dense batteries and their associated thermal management systems are too high to deploy at the scale needed to decarbonize the grid. In addition, they have a significant carbon footprint to produce their constituent materials and still have flammability issues (this has led to a ban in New York City).
At Eclipse, we have long believed that the key bottleneck to widespread renewable energy adoption is storage. More specifically, current lithium-ion systems are not sufficient on their own to solve our storage needs. We need to reimagine and build a solution that has a fundamentally lower-cost of atoms, a resilient and abundant supply chain, and is purpose built for stationary storage from first principles. Most importantly, the underlying technology needs to be industrialized to giga-scale, which — from our experience building companies like Tesla and Rivian — is only possible with a world-class team.
Today, the Eclipse team is excited to announce our partnership with Peak Energy to help propel the team’s mission of accelerating the transition to renewable energy by scaling up domestic manufacturing of sodium-ion batteries, which are more cost-effective, safe, and better optimized for stationary storage versus standard lithium-ion batteries. This partnership began from day zero through Eclipse Venture Equity, our dedicated incubation program in which we collaborate with ambitious leaders — who share our core principles — during their pre-idea and pre-seed stages. We are pleased to lead the company’s seed round and further, be joined by TDK Ventures, amounting to over $10M raised to date.
We believe the Peak Energy Co-Founders, Landon Mossburg and Cam Dales, are uniquely positioned to take on this problem. Greg first met Cam and Landon as colleagues and partners during his time at Enovix and Tesla, respectively, and, over the past two decades, we've watched them build some of the most impressive battery companies in the world. Landon held several leadership roles across supply chain, connected car, and automation engineering at Tesla, then later was an early employee and executive at Northvolt, the largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer outside of Asia. At Northvolt, first as Chief Automation Officer, he was responsible for all automation, equipment, and software inside the factory and also built Northvolt’s connected battery platform. Later, he was promoted to President of North America, where he was responsible for Northvolt’s international expansion and giga-factory planning and site selection for their recently announced $5B Northvolt Six Factory in Quebec. Cam has been a repeat entrepreneur and operator, taking highly technically challenging companies from zero to public. He recently served as the Chief Commercial Officer for over a decade at Enovix (NASDAQ: ENVX), where his team successfully developed the world’s safest and highest-energy density battery to reach production, featuring a novel 3D stacked architecture and a 100% silicon anode. Most critically, Enovix also developed and delivered a novel manufacturing process to produce their high performance batteries for customers at scale. Between the two of them, they hold multiple decades of executive experience building and scaling advanced manufacturing infrastructure, batteries, and the world-class teams needed to succeed.
Introducing Peak Energy
To attack this massive market opportunity, Peak Energy has been diligent in defining a technology and industrialization strategy capable of delivering industry-leading products at giga-scale within the next decade. Drawing on their veteran engineering and manufacturing experience from leading energy storage and battery companies, they've designed a purpose built energy storage system from the ground up leveraging sodium-ion batteries.
We believe sodium-ion batteries are the right path forward due to their inherently lower cost-of-atoms — approximately 30% lower — due to the substitution of lithium for abundantly available sodium, and the reduction/elimination of other expensive materials like nickel, cobalt, and copper. They’re also a safer, thermally tolerant, and suitably durable electrochemistry for stationary energy storage. Sodium-ion has the added benefit that its supply chain can be built domestically; the U.S. has the largest natural reserve of sodium carbonate and currently produces 23% of the global supply versus less than 2% of global supply of lithium carbonate. Additionally, sodium-ion technology has the benefit of three decades of research and development, and shares a nearly identical manufacturing process to lithium-ion. Recently, sodium-ion has reached two key inflection points: market readiness for storage and engineering readiness of the chemistry to scale up.
Possibly more exciting than the best-in-class technology, is the industrialization plan, aka “the machine that builds the machine.” This is where the Peak Energy team’s experience shines, and where an unbelievable number of tailwinds are propelling the vision forward. Today, China has a sodium-ion production capacity pipeline of 150GWh/yr of sodium-ion by 2030, while the U.S. has next to nothing, despite the supportive policy, economic, and social factors. Peak Energy aims to change this by building a domestic giga-factory for cells and systems, while still winning on cost and performance in a global market. The incentives for this domestic production are huge, including $35/kWh cell and $10/kWh module production credits provided by the IRA, capital deployment from the Loan Program Office (LPO) for energy infrastructure projects, and incentives from states around the country, which accelerate permitting and strengthen available local labor. The story becomes even more compelling when stacking these benefits with additional 10% domestic content credit for U.S. storage projects, and the cost advantage gained by ground up design and sodium-ion.
We believe this is the best time in history for Peak Energy to be founded and execute on their mission. With over $10M of raised capital to-date, they’ve already made significant progress and built a world-class team, as well as a consortium of strategic partners spanning supply chain, technology, manufacturing, capital, and customers.
Peak Energy has the potential to transform the foundations of our energy industry and accelerate our transition to a sustainable, economically viable, and resilient grid. The Eclipse team is unbelievably excited to partner with Landon, Cam, the Peak Energy team, and the other exceptional partners backing them. Congratulations!
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