Cement, mining leaders assist heat battery developer’s $60M financing

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Sources: Rondo Energy, Alameda, Calif.; CMCM staff

Titan Group, Brussels-based cement and cementitious materials producer with major North American and European market stakes, and London mining giant Rio Tinto are among 10 participants in a $60 million funding round positioning Rondo Energy to roll out its namesake Heat Battery worldwide and help drive global energy storage market transformation. Rondo Energy has demonstrated the potential to greatly lower cement, steel and other high temperature industrial processes’ carbon intensity through on-demand heat retrieval from batteries charged by renewable, intermittent power sources. 

The premier Rondo Heat Battery helps reduce ethanol production carbon intensity at Calgren Renewable Fuels. Built with bricks and steel wire, the device stores energy at half the cost of chemical batteries or green hydrogen.

“The Rondo team has proven the technical readiness of its Heat Battery and with systems now operating in the field, they’re ready to scale their solution and enable heavy industry to reach zero carbon emissions at a lower cost than fossil fuels,” says Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, charter investor. “We’re encouraged by the strategic industrial leaders joining this round of financing, showcasing just how critical zero-carbon industrial heat and power will be for the market.”

“Cement production is energy-intensive, and we’re always seeking sustainable alternatives to reduce our carbon footprint in line with our net zero goal,” adds Titan Group Innovation & Technology Director Fokion Tasoulas. “Our collaboration with Rondo Energy is a testament to this commitment. Their groundbreaking technology promises to usher in a new era of climate-friendly cement production based on renewable energy.” 

Officials from Titan, along with Bangkok peer Siam Cement Group and four other investors, have joined the company’s Strategic Investor Advisory Board. “[They] will help us focus on the simplest, fastest ways to power their operations with low-cost clean energy and shape our priorities for research and development,” observes Rondo Energy CEO John O’Donnell. “To tackle our climate challenge, we need tools to build big, low-cost, clean energy infrastructure fast. The Rondo Heat Battery is one of those tools.”

The inaugural Rondo Heat Battery was deployed earlier this year at Calgren Renewable Fuels in  Pixley, Calif. It represents the first commercially operating electric thermal energy storage system in the U.S., and the highest efficiency, highest temperature energy storage of any kind worldwide. Also in 2023, Rondo announced a partnership that will see Heat Battery installations across Siam Cement Group operations.

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