Harnessing river power. Impact technology for Net Zero.
- Innovative cleantech using river flow to create constant power
- Scalable to address small and large energy markets globally
- Full-scale demonstrator unit ready for testing in Q1 2022
- Planned extensions to potable water and hydrogen production
The world must transition to renewable energy to halt the progress of climate change and achieve Net Zero. The renewable electricity marketplace is estimated to reach US$2.5 trillion by 2025 and to grow by up to 50% globally by 2050.
One of the main issues facing most existing renewable technologies is that the natural resources they draw on, such as wind or solar energy, are intermittent – this means power cannot be constantly created. Hydrokinetic, 'run-of-river' technology is different.
Achelous Energy’s innovative FITS technology uses the constant resource of flowing river water to power its vertical axis turbines. This enables it to produce continuous power without the need for large, energy storage facilities.
The potential for power generation from rivers is truly global.
Across the world and throughout history, human civilisations have settled near rivers, meaning FITS technology can be implemented close to where it is needed at a viable price point from start of life.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Achelous Energy was co-founded in 2017 by Tim Wood and James Diddams.
In 2019 the company was awarded over £1m GBP grant funding through Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst 7 programme, to develop its innovative hydrokinectic power generation technology and is currently in the final stages of delivering this project to design, build and test a full-scale 200kW FITS power plant.
Achelous Energy secured a further innovation award in 2019, winning a full Intellectual Property audit and pathway assessment for its FITS technology through the UK IPO.
In August 2020 the company was featured in the Department of Industry and Trade’s UK-ASEAN Business Opportunities in Renewable Energy paper, specifically referencing FITS technology.
Fabrication of the full-sized FITS demonstrator unit is planned to complete before the end of the year in Yangon, Myanmar, and testing is scheduled for Q1 2022. These results will provide final confirmation of the unit's power outputs, already validated through scale model testing, undertaken earlier this year at QinetiQ's Marine Technology Park.
In October 2021, Achelous Energy announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nepal Energy Foundation (NEF) for the future development of a pilot project. This agreement puts in place the pathway to execute the company’s first commercial project, with NEF already undertaking initial community engagement and river resource survey assessment.
Achelous Energy's primary revenue generation will be through the sale of FITS units to energy project developers. The company will generate additional recurring income streams through the provision of service and data monitoring contracts for its installed FITS units.
During initial commercialisation the company will target energy access projects with single FITS units, expanding to multi-unit array projects in utility-scale markets thereafter.
While establishing early market traction, Achelous may adopt a development role in initial energy projects. It will assist in the set-up, installation and operation of FITS projects, until they're sufficiently proven, at which point it will exit through sale.
The cost of FITS technology is highly competitive from the outset, with an LCOE of less than a third of local diesel generation. As design and production of FITS units is refined, costs will reduce further, facilitating Achelous' plan for commercial scale-up and entry into utility markets.
Use of proceeds
Funds raised will be used for three main purposes:
Achelous has already developed early relationships with commercial entities in key targeted energy access markets, including Nepal and Bangladesh. It's also working with the UK DIT in New Zealand to identify and progress commercial project opportunities. Funds from the Seedrs raise will be used to further advance these relationships and to secure one or more committed commercial projects for development, positioning the company for a series A raise in 2023.
The company will sell its full-scale demonstrator unit, either to a single commercial entity looking to develop clean energy or into one of two pilot projects. Completed sale of the FITS demonstrator is targeted within 2022.
There are significant pathways for FITS technology market expansion in clean water and hydrogen production. Achelous is also passionate about developing the use of recycled plastics as part of its construction, enabling FITS to make an even greater impact.
The company has the following loans:
1. A Business Bounceback Loan of £50,000 with an interest rate of 2.5% per annum. The loan is repaid in monthly instalments, with the final repayment due in March 2027.
2. An Investor Loan of £119,800 with 0% interest. It is payable back upon the company being profitable, and having “over and above what is needed to meet current liabilities and cover overhead costs of 6 months as determined by the Board” as working capital in the bank.
3. Two Directors Loans; one from Tim Wood of £63,700, and one from from James Diddams of £61,900. These loans have 0% interest and are payable back upon the company being profitable, and having “over and above what is needed to meet current liabilities and cover overhead costs of 6 months as determined by the Board” as working capital in the bank.
The funds from this round will not be used to repay these loans.
The founders also own a company named Cleantech Engineering Limited. Prior to securing the Inovate UK Grant, the company also offered consultancy services. Once the grant was secured, the consultancy business was undertaken by Cleantech Engineering Limited. This company has several ongoing consultancy projects for those pre-existing clients, but is not looking to develop any new clients, and the founders spend on average less than 8 hours per month on this company.
Prior to securing the grant, when the founders were still operating as a consultancy, they carried out design work for Global OTEC Resources, an offshore platform that uses temperature differentials in sea water to generate power through a closed loop heat engine and therefore has zero cross-over with the FITS river hydrokinectic technology. In return, the founders accepted equity into the company for the design work. Tim Wood and James Diddams therefore each currently hold 7.5% shareholding in Global OTEC. They are not employees, directors or board members of Global OTEC.
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