A year since listing, 1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) has received several investor queries about its thermal energy storage systems (TESSs) — specifically why they were not making a quick buck from intermittent negative electricity prices.

The company’s systems take in electricity and store it using molten silicon.

The TESSs store energy at times of low demand and release at high demand – theoretically making money from the latter.

1414 released an announcement this morning explaining these events weren’t make or break for the company. It added that it wasn’t out to just price gouge consumers in times of torment.

“While 1414 Degrees TESSs will take advantage of periods of negative electricity pricing, these events alone are insufficient to form an economic basis for investment in energy storage including batteries and pumped hydro,” the company said.

“These events are intermittent and disruptive so the market operators are openly looking at market changes to promote reliable firming supply.”

1414 acknowledged that renewable generators were not as reliable as fossil fuel power stations.

But the company said capitalising on price swings was opportunistic. It said such strategies should only be a marginal part of its business model.


It’s all about the long term

Instead, 1414 said it wanted its projects to be economically viable in the long-term. It believed they would be as long as its business model was appropriate.

“The economic case for firming storage requires that the NEM (National Electricity Market) be changed to reward the provision of firming base-load electricity supply,” the company said.

“Instead of ensuring longer-term operation of fossil fuel power stations, the introduction of TESS would enable the transaction to low or zero cost renewable supply and remarkably replace much of the fossil fuel used for heating, a market twice the size of electricity”.

“Pumped hydro and batteries are useful for long term and short term supply, respectively, but are expensive and less versatile compared to TESS and cannot displace gas emissions used in the larger heat market”.


Read more about 1414 Degrees:

Batteries that harness waste and salt waters to generate electricity are a thing now

Energy: 1414 installs world’s first biogas powered thermal energy storage system

SA Water taps 1414 Degrees for its molten silicon energy storage tech