Alphabet's X division is spinning out its Project Malta project - an approach to grid-scale energy storage that relies on molten salt - to an independent copmpany.
For the last few years, the X division has been incubating Project Malta. After investigating and prototyping the technology, and helping find partners with the expertise to bring the system to life, Alphabet's unit decided to setup an independent company called Malta Inc.
It’s now far cheaper to build new sources of renewable energy generation than it is to continue using fossil fuels. However, there isn’t a cheap and reliable way to store all the renewable energy currently being generated. Malta’s solution is to store electricity as heat in high temperature molten salt and cold in a low temperature liquid for days, or even weeks, until it’s needed. Malta uses cheap, common materials — like salt, steel, anti-freeze, and air — and a new engineering approach to “time shift” the energy from when it’s produced to when it’s most needed affordably and reliably.
After creating detailed engineering designs (and plenty of prototypes) and engaging with experts in the utilities, grid, and power industries, the team is now ready to design and build their first megawatt-scale pilot plant.