Quidnet Energy announced on Tuesday that it closed on a $10 million Series B round of financing and a contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for commercial demonstration of its Geomechanical Pumped Storage (GPS) technology.
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Based in Houston, Quidnet has offices in San Francisco and Saratoga Springs, New York. Its technology is a form of hydroelectric energy storage using time-tested well-drilling and construction technologies to pump water under pressure into subsurface geological reservoirs to store energy, the company said in a written statement. When variable renewable energy is not available, this water is released to drive hydroelectric turbines to power the electric grid.
Existing investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Evok Innovations participated in the round, as well as new investors Trafigura and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, the company said in the statement. The new funding brings Quidnet’s total raise to $18 million since its inception in 2013, which includes an $8 million venture round in 2018, according to Crunchbase data.
Quidnet said the new round of funding will help it work with electric utilities and deliver commercial-scale projects across the North American electric grid. The company also plans to expand its team and infrastructure.
The investment will also fund the construction of near-term projects, including a 2-megawatt project implementing GPS as part of the company’s new contract with NYSERDA. Both the funding and new contract represent the start of deployment of commercial-scale facilities across priority markets, Quidnet Energy CEO Joe Zhou said in a written statement.
“Integrating renewables and replacing retiring thermal generation require cost-effective long-duration electricity storage at an immense scale. While traditional pumped hydro has provided over 95 percent of the world’s grid-scale storage, that approach faces significant siting and cost limitations going forward,” he said. “Quidnet unlocks these constraints to fundamentally change the economics and deployment profile of long-duration storage.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias