Cheesecake Energy secures £3.5m for green energy storage tech

A tech firm which has developed a low cost way of storing energy in the form of heat and compressed air has secured multi-million pound backing. Nottingham-based Cheesecake Energy (CEL) has raised GBP3.5 million from UK and Ireland investor BGF, with support from Perivoli Innovations and private investors including former Jaguar chair Sir John Egan. The funds will be used to grow the Cheesecake team, pilot the company's technology, and build partnerships with potential manufacturing and distribution partners around the world.

The company's eTanker technology uses electric motors to drive compressors which pump high pressure air and heat into large storage units which are as big as a building. When electricity is needed, the air and heat passes back through the compressor - now acting as an expander - which turns a generator to produce electricity. Cheesecake says the technology is cheap, green and efficient way of storing energy from sources such as wind and solar which has the potential to displace established lithium-ion batteries in a range of applications from EV charging to off-grid operations, heavy industry and agriculture.

Co-founder and chief commercial officer Mike Simpson said: "Compared with battery alternatives, our eTanker solution is lower cost and much more sustainable, with no rare or toxic materials and with a design that can be fully recycled at the end of its 20-year plus life. "Our system stores much of the energy as heat in inert rock in a way that is passively safe, avoiding the fire risk faced by some battery technologies." The business is based in the Ingenuity Centre, Triumph Road, Nottingham, and the technology uses converted truck engines to create "zero-emission electrical power-conversion machines" for putting energy into and out of storage.

Chief executive Paul Harris said: "We are pleased to have completed this funding round, which will enable us to accelerate the development of our technology, to deploy pilot projects and bring our novel, sustainable energy storage to market. We are looking forward to working with our visionary investor, BGF, and are grateful for the continued support from our existing investors led by Perivoli Innovations." Since 2011, BGF has backed a range of early-stage and growth businesses involved in climate tech -from fuel cells to sustainable battery solutions and energy-efficient buildings - and the latest funding round takes the total amount invested to GBP230 million.

BGF investor Dennis Atkinson said: "We see huge potential for CEL's technology and expect it to be a global leader in the energy transition from its base in the Midlands. "The UK is a hotbed of innovation in this space, and it is vital that the investment ecosystem is supporting entrepreneurs and innovators to drive growth and development across key areas in the fight against climate change. "We share the ambition and mission of the CEL team and look forward to helping them achieve it."

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