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Southern (SO) Invests in Solid-State Battery Technology

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Southern Company’s (SO - Free Report) subsidiary has made an early-stage investment in Johnson Energy Storage, Inc., an Atlanta-based battery manufacturing company that develops solid-state battery technology. This move highlights Southern Company's commitment to clean energy solutions and supporting local innovations.

Why Solid-State Batteries Matter

Solid-state batteries hold immense potential for the future of energy storage. Unlike traditional lithium-ion batteries that use liquid electrolytes, solid-state batteries utilize a solid electrolyte. This innovation promises several advantages:

Enhanced Safety: Solid electrolytes eliminate the risk of fire associated with flammable liquid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries.

Faster Charging: Solid-state batteries could significantly reduce charging times for electric vehicles (EVs) without degrading battery life.

Greater Range: Solid-state batteries have the potential to extend the driving range of EVs.

Lower Costs: Johnson Energy Storage aims to develop a more cost-effective approach to solid-state battery production than other technologies.

Southern Company's Commitment

Southern Company's investment in battery manufacturing company reflects its dedication to:

Clean Energy Solutions: Solid-state batteries can play a crucial role in advancing clean energy adoption.

Supporting Innovation: Southern Company recognizes the importance of fostering innovation within the communities.

Building the Future of Energy: This investment strengthens Southern Company's position as a leader in shaping the future of the energy sector.

Johnson Energy Storage: A Pioneering Force

Founded by Dr. Lonnie Johnson, a former NASA engineer, Johnson Energy Storage has dedicated over two decades to developing solid-state battery technology. The battery manufacturer's focus on a less expensive solid glass electrolyte and separator holds promise for wider adoption.

Management Remarks

Dr. Lonnie Johnson, Founder and Chairman of Johnson Energy Storage, expressed his appreciation for Southern Company's investment, highlighting the potential of their innovations to revolutionize EVs and other energy applications. On the other hand, Robin Lanier, Director of New Ventures at Southern Company, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing their commitment to fostering clean energy solutions and supporting local entrepreneurs.

Looking Ahead

The collaboration between Southern Company and Johnson Energy Storage represents a significant step forward in solid-state battery development. With continued research and innovation, this technology has the potential to revolutionize the energy landscape, particularly in the realm of electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, SO carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the utility sector might look at some top-ranked stocks like California Water Service Group (CWT - Free Report) and Primo Water Corporation (PRMW - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Atmos Energy Corporation (ATO - Free Report) , holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

California Water Service Group: CWT is worth approximately $2.9 billion. It currently pays a dividend of $1.23 per share, or 3.45%, on an annual basis.

CWT offers water utility and other related services in California, Washington, New Mexico, Hawaii and Texas. The company is involved in the production, purchase, storage, treatment, testing, distribution and sale of water for domestic, industrial, public and irrigation uses, as well as for fire protection services.

Primo Water Corporation: Primo is a leading pure-play water solutions provider in North America and Europe. The company operates largely under a recurring razor/razorblade revenue model.

PRMW currently pays a dividend of 36 cents per share, or 1.59%, on an annual basis. In the past year, its shares have risen 70.2%.

Atmos Energy Corporation: ATO, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the regulated natural gas distribution and pipeline and storage businesses in the United States.

ATO operates through two segments Distribution and Pipeline and Storage. It currently pays a dividend of $3.22 per share, or 2.86% on an annual basis.

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