Swiss-American Energy Vault on course to go public in US through SPAC deal

Energy Vault's storage tower. Source: Energy Vault

September 10 (Renewables Now) - Swiss-American grid-scale energy storage technology developer Energy Vault Inc is heading to the US public markets through an agreed merger with special purpose acquisition company Novus Capital Corporation II (NYSE:NXU), which will give the combined company a pro-forma enterprise value of USD 1.1 billion (EUR 929m), a statement showed on Thursday.

The new entity, Energy Vault Holdings Inc, will receive USD 100 million in capital through a private investment in public equity (PIPE), in addition to the USD 288 million in cash held in Novus’ trust account if no public stockholders exercise their redemption rights at closing.

Adage Capital Partners, Pickering Energy Partners, Sailingstone Capital Energy Transition Strategy Fund, SoftBank Investment Advisers, Cemex Ventures and Palantir Technologies will invest in Energy Vault through the PIPE.

The transaction hinges on the approval of both sets of shareholders as well as regulatory clearances. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Upon completion, Energy Vault will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker GWHR. The combined company expects to generate recognised revenue in 2022.

Founded in 2017, Energy Vault has developed an energy storage, artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform, EVx, that uses custom-made composite blocks made with locally-sourced soil or waste material. The blocks can be lifted or lowered to store or release energy on demand, using the power of gravity. The technology aims to provide an alternative to pumped hydro plants, which make up about 90% of the current global storage capacity market, and to chemical batteries, as increased use of renewables is expected to drive up tenfold the demand for energy storage in the next ten years.

In 2020, Energy Vault linked its first commercial-scale, 5-MW/35-MWh energy storage system to the Swiss national grid. The company has secured eight agreements and letters of intent for a total of over 1,200 MW hours of storage, with further projects under negotiation expected to begin deployment in the next 12 to 24 months.

The SPAC deal comes on the heels of a USD-100-million funding round, which Energy Vault wrapped up in late August and which attracted as new investors Pickering Energy, Sailingstone, AT Gekko, Crexa Capital Advisors, Green Storage Solutions Venture and Gordon Crawford. The round was led by existing backer Prime Movers Lab, with current investors Softbank Vision Fund and Saudi Aramco also taking part.

NXU floated in February. It said it picked Energy Vault out of over 100 target companies assessed since then.

Shares in NXU closed 1.4% higher at USD 9.83 on Thursday.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.845)

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