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Malta Inc German subsidiary awarded long duration storage federal grant

November 8, 2023

US long-duration energy storage (LDES) company Malta Inc’s German subsidiary has been awarded a federal government grant to support a €9 million project to accelerate the country’s energy transition. 

The funding was awarded to Malta Hochtemperatur Wärmepumpen Stromspeicher, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Alfa Laval, and Siemens Energy by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK).

The grant will fund a “technoeconomic analysis of the potential for Malta’s LDES technology to help decarbonize both electricity and heat generation in Germany”, a statement said. It will also support the expansion of DLR’s test facility for thermal energy storage in molten salts (TESIS) “to validate an innovative, Alfa Laval-built heat exchanger”, the statement added.

Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta Inc, said: “We are honoured to partner with the German government and its leading national laboratory, the DLR, to explore how Malta’s technology can accelerate the transition off natural gas,” said Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta. “This important work will identify how best to meet Germany’s decarbonisation goals, create jobs in German turbomachinery manufacturing, and deliver a just transition by creating clean energy construction and operations jobs for the nation’s current energy workforce.”

Sigmund Brielmaier, head of LDES at Siemens Energy, added: “Besides being the turbomachinery supplier for Malta’s technology, we are keen to contribute with our expertise to this project that enables the energy transition. LDES is a key to decarbonise the energy system and this project offers a great opportunity to explore new ways of decarbonized combined heat and power applications.”

Prof. Dr. André Thess, director of the Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at DLR, said: “As a globally leading research institution in the field of molten salt technology the DLR-Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics will be happy to contribute to the successful development of this important large-scale long-duration storage technology.”

Tom Erixon, president and CEO of Alfa Laval commented: “Energy storage plays a pivotal role in driving the shift towards renewable energy sources. Alfa Laval is proud to be part of this significant project, poised to propel the solution implementation to new heights. Our pioneering and highly efficient heat exchanger technology, tailored for Malta’s energy storage process, will be running in actual operational settings. It is a milestone in the pathway towards competitive, long-term energy storage and the transformation of the European energy market into a more sustainable future.”

Malta’s innovative pumped-thermal energy storage (PTES) plant is a like-for-like replacement for fossil-fueled power plants. It generates 100-MW of clean power and 70-MW of clean heat, but it uses an industrial grade heat pump to replace the carbon emissions and volatile price of fossil fuels with zero-emissions, lowest-cost-available renewable energy. The heat pump converts the electricity to thermal energy, which can be stored for hours to days. When needed, a heat engine reconverts the thermal energy into clean power and heat, returning up to 90 per cent of the original energy to the grid with little-to-no degradation over its 30-plus year lifespan.