Newcastle-based clean energy company MGA Thermal has unveiled the first stage of its new commercial manufacturing facility in Tomago.
It is the latest chapter in the company's astronomical rise, which has been driven by demand for new energy storage to replace ageing or and increasingly unreliable coal-fired power stations.
The company has also registered customer interest for 20 gigawatt hours of energy storage, the equivalent of powering 1.3 million homes, from customers for its technology, which was created at the University of Newcastle.
MGA Thermal's new equipment will be capable of manufacturing more than 1,000 blocks, or 1 megawatt hours of energy storage, per day by the end of 2022.
"We have got about 20 companies in our customer pipeline, which is valued at about $1billion. Some of them are at the start of the journey others are moving down into contract-related discussions," Erich Kisi, co-founder and chief executive of MGA Thermal, said.
The company was founded with three employees in 2019 and today employs 25. Professor Kisi said he expected the number to grow to 50 by the end of next year and 80 by the end of the following year.
The initial run of blocks produced at Tomago will be used to kick off MGA Thermal's partnership with the Toshiba International Corporation and Graphite Energy to produce low-cost green hydrogen, a project supported by a $9.8 million grant from the Australian Government's Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
"If current market sentiment and the impacts of climate change are telling us anything, it's that we can no longer hold off on the renewable energy transition," Professor Kisi said.
"While conventional storage technologies like batteries are no doubt important to that mission, we believe our MGA Thermal Blocks will be a major part of that transition, to retrofit existing thermal power plants and support development of low-cost renewable energy storage and green hydrogen.
"Utilities from around the world have told us they need this type of technology to make that move, and we are well on our way to building the capacity to meet that demand."
A Toshiba statement said the company was excited to be MGA Thermal to develop innovative solutions that move society towards a sustainable and carbon neutral future.
"Our partnership with MGA aims to deliver long term energy storage, low-cost Hydrogen production and renewable electricity generation, all highly valued features of a successful future energy market," the statement said.
"The coupling of the MGA thermal storage technology with the Toshiba's Solid Oxide Electrolysis Hydrogen technology will allow both parties to work with government and industry to develop a joint engineering and manufacturing strategy so that high value engineering, manufacturing and supply chain jobs are created locally with the value generated exported globally in the future."
IN THE NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.