Cumulus Energy Storage Ltd

Contestant information

Business name: 
Cumulus Energy Storage Ltd
Nick Kitchin

Elevator Pitch

Elevator Pitch: 
Cumulus Energy Storage Ltd is 'enabling renewable electricity' - by developing the lowest cost grid-level energy storage battery
Detailed elevator pitch: 
My name is Nick Kitchin and I am the chief executive of Cumulus Energy Storage Ltd. We are enabling renewable electricity from wind, solar and tidal – by developing the lowest cost grid-level energy storage battery. The reason we are doing this is because we want to help keep the lights on and drive down the cost of electricity. The problem is that the grid isn’t designed for the increasing percentage of variable and intermittent generation from renewables – it needs a buffer and apart from pumped hydro, there isn’t a low-cost solution; hence the need for our 1-100MWh Copper/Zinc battery. I am a former The Pitch regional winner and we now have a gamechanger business with a global market.
Industry sector: 
Utilities and Energy

Business Plan

Your USP: 
Most battery development is driven by the automotive industry, with high energy density, small size and aggressive chemistries, all of which is irrelevant for the electricity energy storage market. We have de-risked our development programme by scaling down an existing industrial electrowinning process (used to extract non-ferrous metals from electrolytes) and combining it with the oldest battery invented 200 years ago - Copper/Zinc. An industrial membrane keeps the Copper and Zinc metal ions apart & makes our battery rechargeable. Our battery is the only maintainable one & it has the lowest battery levelised cost of energy at £120/MWh, which is in line with pumped hydro (99% of market).
Your market: 
The global energy storage market is forecast to grow from £100m/year in 2013, to £3.5bn/year in 2017 and £6bn/year by 2020. On 30th April 2014, the International Energy Agency published a report projecting 310 GW of additional storage would be needed in four major regions [US, European Union, China, India] by 2050. Our addressable 4-6 hour time-shift market is half of this, so we are forecasting to be a £350m turnover business with a 15% EBITDA and 12.5% share by 2020, with opportunities for early stage investors to exit in 2017 via IPO on AIM or trade sale. Our main competitors are AMBRI (liquid metal battery), Aquion (aqueous hybrid ion battery) and Eos Energy Storage (Zinc-air battery).
Your people: 
The management team of 3 has over 20 years of battery development experience. Both Darron, who is our COO, and I (CEO) are professional engineers with MBAs. My background is mainly plastics and chemicals production, including Shell, plus strategy consultancy. Darron has worked on two major battery projects and floated a technology business on AIM in 2007. Mike, our CTO, has a Masters in Chemistry and is the principal inventor of our battery.