Breakthrough Energy Ventures, National Grid Partners and a Subsidiary of NextEra Energy Invest in TS Conductor to Meet the Growing Demand for Greener Electricity Grids
TS Conductor Corp., a pioneer in high-efficiency conductors for electricity grids, today announced that Breakthrough Energy Ventures, National Grid Partners and a subsidiary of NextEra Energy have joined Talkot and Hervé Touati in its oversubscribed Series A financing, for a total $25 million in funding. The new capital will be used to build the company’s first state of the art manufacturing plant in the United States.
“We are thrilled to have Breakthrough Energy Ventures, National Grid Partners and a subsidiary of NextEra Energy investing in TS Conductor. Our mission is to make electricity networks greener. TS achieves that through a combination of energy efficiency and faster and cheaper renewable integration,” said Dr. Jason Huang, CEO at TS Conductor Corp.
While the electricity generation segment of the energy industry has progressed to cleaner and more efficient solutions, the overhead conductor technology used by transmission and distribution grid operators has not materially changed since the emergence of Aluminum Core Steel Reinforced (ACSR) cables in 1908. ACSR still today represents over 95 percent of the utility cables deployed across the world.
According to Market Study Report, LLC, the global wires and cables market was estimated to represent $183 billion of sales in 2020, with an annual compounded growth rate anticipated to exceed 4 percent until 2028. Global investment in the power sector reached $780 billion in 2020 and was largely dominated by renewable power (48 percent) and electricity networks (32 percent) investments, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). While considerable, the IEA notes that current levels of renewable energy and energy efficiency investments still fall short of what is needed to maintain global temperatures well below a 2 ºC rise.
The UN climate targets create the need for new cable technologies that can reduce electricity network losses and accelerate the connection of wind and solar farms, which is one of the major bottlenecks of renewable energy expansion. Network losses amount to approximately 2000 TWh annually, or 6.7 times the electricity consumption of the U.K.
“Transmission is fundamentally important to our climate mission, yet it has seen limited innovation over the years. It is rare to find a transmission technology like TS Conductor with as much potential in terms of deployability, cost and efficiency,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “TS Conductor will be a major enabler of increasing electricity demand and increasing penetration of renewables in a critical time. We are delighted to lead this round with a stand-out team and an outstanding technology.”
“National Grid has committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 90 percent by 2040 and to net zero by 2050, and to accelerating the incorporation of wind, solar and battery storage in our grids in the UK and North America,” said Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of National Grid and the President and Founder of National Grid Partners. “There are few solutions enabling grid operators to reduce their electricity consumption, and TS Conductor is the most impressive solution I have encountered so far to decarbonize electricity grids. Their product, when combined with a top-notch management team, positions TS Conductor to be a leader in the market.”
TS Conductor was founded in 2018 by Rulong Chen, James Huang and Jason Huang, based on James Huang’s patented conductor design. This new class of conductors is based on a unique combination of carbon composite and aluminum encapsulation of the composite core. The conductors can be installed with the same tools and operating procedures as ACSR cables. And they are compatible with industry standard field practice and can be used for:
- Line reconductoring, allowing for the doubling of capacity of an existing line without having to change or retrofit any structures.
- Energy efficiency upgrades, reducing technical line losses by half without having to change or retrofit any structures.
- Insulation upgrades of distribution networks, reducing forest fire risks without having to change the poles or towers.
- Building new lines with lower structure costs and/or better characteristics (in capacity, efficiency, insulation).
TS Conductor is also part of the first cohort of Third Derivative. Founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and New Energy Nexus, Third Derivative is a global climate technology startup accelerator with the mission of building an inclusive ecosystem that rapidly finds, funds and scales climate tech innovation.
About TS Conductor
TS Conductor products allow transmission & distribution grid operators to be active participants to the energy transition – by reducing line losses and accelerating the integration of wind, solar and battery storage - while leveraging existing infrastructure assets. Our products can be used to substitute ACSR conductors using the same tools and installation procedures. TS Conductor is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and a public benefit company focused on sustainable development and GHG reduction. For more information visit www.tsconductor.com.
About Breakthrough Energy Ventures
Backed by many of the world’s top business leaders, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) invests in cutting-edge companies that will lead the world to net-zero emissions. BEV has more than $2 billion in committed capital to support bold entrepreneurs building companies that can significantly reduce emissions from agriculture, buildings, electricity, manufacturing, and transportation. BEV’s strategy links government-funded research and patient, risk-tolerant capital to bring transformative clean energy innovations to market as quickly as possible.
The first fund was created in 2016 as part of the Breakthrough Energy network of initiatives and entities, which include investment funds, non-profit and philanthropic programs, and policy efforts linked by a shared commitment to scale the technologies needed to address climate change and achieve a path to net zero emissions by 2050. Visit www.breakthroughenergy.org to learn more.
About National Grid Partners
National Grid Partners (NGP) is the venture investment and innovation arm of National Grid plc., one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. NGP invests for strategic and financial impact and leads companywide disruptive innovation efforts. The organization provides a multi-functional approach to building startups, including innovation (new business creation), incubation, corporate venture capital, business development and venture acceleration. NGP is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has offices in Boston, London, and New York. Visit ngpartners.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/@ngpartners and www.linkedin.com/showcase/national-grid-partners.
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