Southern Company, through a subsidiary, has made an early-stage investment in Johnson Energy Storage (JES), an Atlanta-based solid-state battery company.

Founded by entrepreneur and former NASA engineer Dr. Lonnie Johnson, .JES says it has been focused on the development of solid-state battery technology for more than 20 years. Solid-state battery companies like JES are aiming to develop new ways of assembling batteries, removing the need for liquid electrolytes, which could improve the safety of traditional lithium-ion batteries.

“We are most appreciative of Southern Company’s recent investment and support for our ongoing work,” said Dr. Lonnie Johnson, founder and chairman of the board of directors for Johnson Energy Storage. “We are excited about the potential for our battery innovations to scale with electric vehicles and other energy applications. We believe the successful refinement and scaling of our technology has the potential to significantly impact the energy ecosystem.”

Specifically, JES has developed a solid glass electrolyte and glass separator that JES claims will be less expensive than other solid-state approaches.

Solid state batteries are considered by some to have several advantages over existing lithium-ion batteries that are currently utilized in a wide array of devices and systems, notably electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy storage solutions.

The potential advantages of solid-state batteries include a faster charging time that doesn’t degrade the battery at the same rate as what is typically seen with Lithium-ion batteries, and greater range. JES hopes to develop a solid-state battery that is both safer and less expensive to manufacture than others currently in development.

“Southern Company’s investment in Johnson Energy Storage highlights our commitment to fostering innovative energy solutions and supporting clean energy technologies within our communities,” said Robin Lanier, director of New Ventures for Southern Company. “This investment is just one more way in which Southern Company is building the future of energy.”

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