Renewable energy startup MGA Thermal tops up with $5.7 million raise

- April 16, 2024 2 MIN READ
Dr Erich Kisi and Mark Croudace
 MGA Thermal cofounder and chief scientist Dr Erich Kisi and CEO Mark Croudace holding one of the startup's thermal heat blocks
Clean energy startup MGA Thermal, has raised an additional $5.7 million to develop its thermal energy storage (TES) system.

This round was backed by existing investors including Main Sequence and Melt Ventures with specialist clean tech investor JEKARA joining the cap table.

The new capital tops up an $8 million in September last year. MGA Thermal has now raised $28.8 million in total through funding and grants.

Other investors include Varley Holdings, New Zealand’s Climate Venture Capital Fund, Pollination Group and Understorey Ventures.

The Hunter Valley startup has developed what it calls Miscibility Gaps Alloy (MGA) Blocks, which absorb and store thermal energy made from renewable power. They enable long-term energy storage from solar and wind, to generate 24/7 clean steam for hard-to-abate industries and retrofitted power plants.

The concept is similar to coal-fired power, which uses that heat to produce steam and drive the generator turbines. Steam-driven power produces nearly a quarter (23%) of Australia’s total energy demand.

Last year the company began developing  shipping container-sized demonstration unit that holds 3,700 of its TES blocks. It would store enough energy to power more than 135 homes for 24 hours.

But MGA Thermal CEO Mark Croudace said that during the development, they identified areas for improvement and they paused operations to address them.

“This was a valuable learning opportunity that will ultimately strengthen our TES system development. We’ve gained insights that will help accelerate our progress as we prepare to resume commissioning of our demonstration unit,” he said.

“MGA Thermal remains at the forefront of clean energy innovation and large-scale energy storage. Our mission and intention of revolutionising the renewable energy landscape has never been stronger, and with the continued support of our investors and partners, we remain on track to reach our next business milestone of commercial-scale operations and energy output.”

The new capital will be deployed on the next phase of testing to reinstate and prove the scale of MGA Thermal’s TES system and produce sufficient high-pressure, high-temperature clean steam for rising industrial demand.

Croudace said the closed-loop system will showcase the future of renewable thermal energy, commencing with the charging of renewable electricity into MGA Thermal’s storage blocks before discharging clean steam production.

“We have continued working with numerous industrial partners and clients over the last six months which cannot solely rely on solar, wind and renewable energy sources to meet their decarbonisation goals,” he said.

“We’re excited to realise the next phase of our partnerships through the implementation of an on-site MGA Thermal TES system to supply ongoing clean-steam and energy storage capabilities.”

MGA Thermal’s goal is to abate 30 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030 — the equivalent of more than 23 years of commercial flights from Sydney to LA.

MGA Thermal was a finalist in the 2023 Startup Daily Best in Tech awards



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