Exelon Backs Volta

Exelon invests in energy storage

One of the largest U.S. energy providers has invested in an energy storage startup, further indicating that the sector is on the rise within the utility world.

Exelon’s undisclosed investment, announced December 12, will help fund Volta Energy Technologies, a startup based in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill., that plans to evaluate and test new energy-storage technologies and draws experience from former Argonne Laboratory professionals.

Volta is “considering materials that enable advanced li-ion, sodium ion, vanadium flow, sulfur batteries, solids state batteries, and others, including possibly lithium metal batteries,” he said.

The emergence of Volta coincides with a sharp decline in prices for lithium-ion battery packs — the units that power electric vehicles. They are selling at an average of $209 per kWh, down 24 percent from a year ago and about a fifth of what it was in 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Exelon is the country’s largest distributor of nuclear power. Since its 2016 merger with Pepco, it is now also the largest of the major distributors, spanning a service area from the Mid-Atlantic to the Chicago area that includes over 19,000 megawatts of nuclear power generated from 15 sites.

Exelon also has several fossil fuel generation sites, two hydropower locations, and three major renewable energy outlets, but this is a clear indicator that the prominent corporation hopes to establish more of a presence in the latter market.

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