Gravity-based renewable energy storage startup in SPAC deal

Gravity-based renewable energy storage startup in SPAC deal

Market news |
Reneweable energy storage company Energy Vault has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination with special purpose acquisition company Novus Capital Corporation II (NYSE: NXU, NXU.U, NXU WS) for purposes of becoming a publicly traded company.
By Rich Pell

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The company develops gravity-based, grid-scale energy storage solutions with its proprietary technology. Net cash from the transaction is intended to be used to fund growth of the combined company and global deployment of the company’s technologies.

Compared to alternative energy storage solutions, the company’s gravity energy storage platform is designed to be cost-efficient, reliable, safe to operate and environmentally sustainable over a 35-year technical life. It is inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on the power of gravity to store and discharge energy, combined with the company’s own material science and software innovations.

The platform has replaced water with custom-made composite blocks, made with locally sourced soil or waste material, which are lifted and lowered to store and release energy on demand. This proprietary system is orchestrated by the company’s AI-enabled software platform that incorporates advanced computer control and machine vision.

The end result, says the company, is a resilient supply of power and storage capacity with a system designed to have greater operational flexibility for both short and long duration storage, high round-trip-efficiency, lower capital and operating expenses, and an overall higher asset efficiency than competitors given the lack of degradation in the storage medium over time.

“Energy Vault’s technology is designed to provide a cost-efficient, flexible and sustainable energy storage solution to meet the immediate needs of utilities, power producers and large industrial energy consumers that must solve the problem of power intermittency that is inherent with wind and solar energy generation,” says Robert Piconi, CEO & Co-Founder of Energy Vault. “We developed our energy storage solution to get to market quickly given the urgent and global imperative to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy sector. Through the deployment of our transformative technology, which can store clean energy for grid-scale deployments while uniquely utilizing waste materials for beneficial reuse in the process, Energy Vault is re-defining the role that energy storage companies can and should play within a circular economic framework.”

The company says that it has successfully demonstrated commercial scale deployment of its technologies and has a strong pipeline of customer engagements. These include eight executed agreements and letters of intent for 1.2 GW hours of energy storage capacity, with deployments planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 in the U.S., followed by Europe, the Middle East and Australia in 2022.

The transaction with Novus Capital II values the combined company at an implied pro-forma enterprise value of $1.1 billion. Pursuant to the proposed business combination, the combined company is expected to receive up to $388 million in gross cash proceeds from a combination of cash from a $100 million committed stock private investment in public equity (PIPE) and $288 million in cash held in Novus’ trust account, assuming no public stockholders exercise their redemption rights at closing.

The PIPE is anchored by strategic and institutional investors, including funds and accounts managed by Adage Capital Partners LP, Pickering Energy Partners, Sailingstone Capital Energy Transition Strategy Fund, SoftBank Investment Advisers, Cemex Ventures (NYSE: CX), Palantir Technologies Inc., (NYSE: PLTR) and other investors. Affiliates and associates of Novus Capital also participated in the PIPE investment.

Robert Laikin, CEO of Novus adds, “Energy Vault is bringing an entirely new energy storage solution to the energy market and will lower the costs for utility companies and power producers that are transitioning to renewables but who need to maintain consistent energy supply to deliver dispatchable power. Their unique approach to addressing the need for dispatchable power delivery through their creation of transformative technologies while reusing waste materials in their process, sets them apart from any other player in the market, and makes them an obvious choice as a partner. Since our IPO in early 2021, we looked at over 100 companies and we found a fantastic company, with a public company ready management team addressing a massive global market need that is underserved with existing solutions today. In our view, Energy Vault is the only grid-scale pure ESG energy storage company that exists in the market today.”

Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Energy Vault Holdings, Inc. and is expected to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbols “GWHR.” The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Energy Vault

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