Experimental battery tech company 1414 Degrees will deploy its molten silicon energy storage technology in South Australia in a debut commercial pilot.

1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) entered the Aussie small cap battery market with a bit of a different idea — a method where heat energy is stored by melting containers of silicon.

It listed in June after raising $16.3 million in an IPO, a figure that was well short of the minimum $30m it sought when it launched its prospectus.

It announced today that its biogas thermal energy storage system GAS-TESS would undergo a commercial pilot in SA Water’s Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The pilot, to test the system’s ability to integrate energy storage and the provision of heat and power for industrial use, is co-funded by the South Australian government’s Renewable Technology Fund.

It arose from a 2017 request from SA Water “for technology that would allow a biogas input to store energy”, the company said.

1414 Degrees’ share price (ASX:14D) since listing in September.

Dr Kevin Moriarty said it was the first step towards commission of the GAS-TESS system.

“We expect to commission the GAS-TESS in March 2019 and provide immediate returns for SA Water, while at the same time building a foundation for the wider application of the 1414 Degrees technology at similar sites across the globe,” he said.

“Our timing could not be better, with an increasing focus on the critical importance of renewable energy to ensuring a sustainable future for Australia. SA Water is leading the way for corporate Australia by supporting innovative renewable technology to reduce the hip pocket impact of energy prices for its customers, while lessening our country’s carbon footprint.”

SA Water chief Roch Cheroux said the pilot was proof of local knowledge; 1414 Degrees is based in Adelaide.

“Embracing innovative, world-leading technology and ways of thinking, is essential to reducing our electricity costs and maintaining low and stable pricing for our customers,” he said.

“As well as realising the benefits of increased energy self-sufficiency, we can support South Australian innovation and, hopefully, lead a global charge to reduce the costs and environmental impacts of energy-intensive wastewater treatment operations.”