Aramco & Rondo Energy partner on gigawatt-scale thermal storage

Aramco and Rondo Energy Agree on GW-scale Thermal Storage Deployment, Hydrogen and Carbon Capture.
Aramco and Rondo Energy Agree on GW-scale Thermal Storage Deployment, Hydrogen and Carbon Capture.

Aramco, one of the world’s leading global energy and chemicals company, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rondo Energy, the leading provider of lower-carbon industrial heat and power. The companies have started engineering studies for the first industrial-scale deployment of Rondo Heat Batteries that would contribute to the reduction of emissions from Aramco facilities, with subsequent scale-up to 1GWh. 

The companies further intend to assess the potential for additional scale deployment of the technology at Aramco facilities worldwide and to explore joint development of novel applications of the Rondo Heat Battery technology, such as hydrogen production and carbon capture. Aramco Ventures concluded an equity investment in Rondo in July 2023. 

The Rondo Heat Battery supplies continuous energy from stored wind and solar power at the gigawatt scale and high temperatures needed for industrial processes. 

Aramco and Rondo Energy

“Aramco has stated its ambitions to achieve Net Zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across its wholly owned and operated assets, and sees opportunities to build substantial lower-carbon new energy business,” said Ali Al-Meshari, Aramco Sr. Vice President of Technology, Oversight & Coordination. “Innovative technologies deployed at scale are needed to reduce the costs of emissions reduction, and we are investing heavily in developing these through our R&D, venture capital, and technology deployment programs. We see Rondo’s technology having widespread potential application globally and in the Middle East specifically, backed by a team with a track record of delivery.”

Widespread application – industry, hydrogen, carbon capture, desalination
Beyond deployments planned at Aramco facilities, the companies will also assess the potential to develop other applications for Rondo Heat Batteries. The companies plan a joint R&D investigation to explore the applicability of Rondo’s technology in hydrogen production, carbon capture (‘CCS’), and direct air capture (‘DAC’) projects.

The technology can also be applied in large-scale solar desalination facilities. As renewables become more deeply integrated in the grid, today’s thermal desalination facilities face economic and operating challenges. Rondo Heat Batteries can quickly convert these facilities to deliver water and power with lower carbon emissions and lower cost than replacing them. 

Local Value Creation
Rondo Heat Batteries store energy in long-proven brick materials which can be cost-effectively produced with the Kingdom’s mineral resources. The companies will assess the potential of establishing large-scale energy storage manufacturing in the Kingdom.  

“Rondo is working with one of the world’s biggest energy producers towards solving one of the world’s biggest energy challenges – low-cost clean energy for industry,” said Rondo CEO John O’Donnell. “We’re thrilled to announce this MoU with Aramco aimed at delivering lower-carbon energy solutions that can help Aramco achieve their decarbonization ambitions, and support the world’s critical needs for solar desalination and clean hydrogen.”

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, and His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, Minister of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Rondo and its partners were recently selected to receive funding from the US Department of Energy (DoE) for several US-based RHB deployments, and this collaboration with Aramco highlights the DoE’s Office of International Market Development goal of enhancing and revitalizing U.S. competitiveness in the rapidly expanding global clean energy and infrastructure marketplace while creating clean energy jobs in the U.S. and ensuring stable and secure supply chains. 


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