1414 Degrees has taken some major steps towards developing its silicon-based thermal energy storage technology SiBox –  with the help of funding partner Woodside (ASX:WPL).

The company’s tech  harnesses the exceptional heat capacity of silicon-based storage materials to store energy from intermittent renewable energy sources. Its high temperature air output can be flexibly coupled with different energy recovery systems for use as clean, firm heat or combined heat and power. SiBox enables intermittent renewable electricity to be stored during hours of excess renewable generation and then dispatched as firmed, high temperature air that can uniquely provide the clean, high temperature heat needed for industrial processes. It is a flexible, scalable and sustainable technology that offers a solution to the global need for a decarbonised future..

During the March quarter, the company completed its demonstration module design and external validation modelling.

It also finalised all major equipment specifications – which was a major milestone under its $2m funding agreement with Woodside.

The next steps are to procure equipment as the company targets the start of construction of the SiBox project later in the year.


SiBox could replace geopolitically risky natural gas

The company says SiBox’s renewable heat could potentially replace expensive and geopolitically risky natural gas for many industrial users that are struggling to decarbonise.

“High energy prices and geopolitical events have continued to reinforce our view that the world will accelerate the development of renewable energy and is in desperate need for an energy storage solution with the performance objectives of our SiBox design,” 1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) CEO Matt Squire said.

“Our focus remains on proving we have a system that can deliver reliable, high temperature renewable heat through the utilisation of the storage properties of molten silicon.”

Notably, 14D nabbed the SA Innovation award for its tech from the South Australian Department for Energy & Mining during the quarter – which Squire said recognises the innovation of the company’s SiBox tech.


Aurora project final investment decision in 2023

In 2019 the company picked up the Aurora Energy Project (AEP) located near Port Augusta, South Australia with the aim of developing a long-term renewable energy project delivering reliable electricity to the region and NEM. 

“Economic modelling commissioned by Ovida has also assisted in determining the optimal technical configuration of the project and confirmed our belief that Aurora is on track to be a robust investment opportunity,” Squire said.

“Our focus remains on selection of a preferred technical provider for the Stage 1 140MW/280 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), however the next stages of the project, Stage 2 (70 MW Solar) and 3 (150 MW Concentrated Solar), will also provide us with excellent future renewable investment opportunity.”

A Stage 1 FID decision for the BESS is targeted for early 2023 after final approvals and agreements.

Ovida has since withdrawn from its exclusivity arrangement with 14D due to a strategic decision by their shareholders to no longer invest in unregulated electricity projects.

However, the company remains in a sound financial position, with a cash balance of $4.5 million at 31 March.

This article was developed in collaboration with 1414 Degrees, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.