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ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 22: Antora Energy's Thermal Batteries

Antora Energy’s thermal batteries bring the heat to the ever-evolving industrial energy market.

On February 22, 2024, ARPA-E awardee Antora Energy announced a $150 million Series B funding round, led by Decarbonization Partners, for their modular thermal batteries. In March 2024, DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Deployment announced the department's largest industrial decarbonization investment to date, and Antora is part of a team that is selected to receive up to $215.6 million to accelerate commercial-scale demonstration.

Antora’s thermal batteries convert low-cost, intermittent renewable energy, such as wind and solar, into reliable, zero-emissions industrial heat and power through their novel thermophotovoltaic cell technology. 

Antora opened its first large-scale thermal battery manufacturing facility in San Jose, CA in October of 2023, with plans to produce initial units this year. Previously, Antora raised $50 million in Series A funding in February of 2022. ARPA-E originally provided nearly $8 million in funding to Antora through the Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS) program back in 2019. 

Antora has raised a total of $230 million in private funding so far. They were also recently named among TIME’s List of The Best Inventions of 2023 and TIME’s List of America’s Top Greentech Companies of 2024.

"ARPA-E has been instrumental in Antora's success to date. The ARPA-E team believed in Antora when we were just a few people with a big idea and have supported our growth and success ever since—with funding, technical collaboration, partnerships, and more. With the launch of our new US manufacturing facility to deliver some of the largest industrial decarbonization projects in the world, ARPA-E has now helped catalyze Antora's technology from an idea on a chalkboard to a commercial success,” said Antora Energy Co-Founder and COO Dr. Justin Briggs.

Thirty percent of global emissions come from industries, such as steel, cement, and chemical manufacturing, that require reliable, constant sources of cheap energy and can therefore be difficult to decarbonize. Antora’s thermal batteries are heated blocks of solid carbon that bridge the gap between intermittent renewable energy sources and industrial production.

Antora’s thermal batteries store electric energy as heat in the carbon blocks until they glow like a toaster, then deliver that stored energy as heat and power at the scale and temperatures required by large industrial operations. Antora’s breakthrough, proprietary, high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic cell technology converts the light from these glowing carbon blocks into electricity that customers can use on demand as zero-emissions heat and power. Antora’s technology is modular and shippable and uses earth-abundant materials that don’t cause supply chain concerns. 

Antora plans to use this Series B funding to grow their team and scale up manufacturing of their thermal battery modules here in the United States to meet demand across multiple large-scale industrial decarbonization projects.