Bill Gates-Funded Aqueous-Air Battery Start-Up attracts another $70M

Bill Gates-Funded Aqueous-Air Battery Start-Up attracts another $70M

Bill Gates-Funded Aqueous-Air Battery Start-Up attracts another $70M 150 150 Energy Storage Journal

November 26, 2020: Form Energy, the US start-up that previously received funding from Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures organization, confirmed to Reuters on November 12 that it has received another $70 million to develop its stationary aqueous flow batteries — which it says dispatch power for days, not hours.

While remaining secretive about the investors in this latest funding — details of which the company promises will be forthcoming — the firm did release a Solving the Clean Energy and Climate Justice Puzzle report in July 2020. In this it laid out how its aqueous-air technology could cost effectively replace nearly all fossil-fuelled peaker plants in New York State. It said the technology would enable the city of New York to meet its goal of carbon-free electricity by 2040.

Although giving no details of its chemistry other than describing it as ‘aqueous-air electrochemical energy storage’, Form Energy’s modelling said that where capex on lithium-ion storage is between $85 and $95/kWh, its technology would be between $3.75 and $4.

It says where lithium-ion has the duration of more than an hour, its long-duration storage would provide up to 200.

In May 2020, Form Energy announced a pilot with Great River Energy, a utility in Minnesota, to deploy its first 1MW commercial installation with duration of 150MWh.

“The electrical grid is increasingly supplied by renewable sources of energy,” said Great River vice president Jon Brekke. “Commercially viable long-duration storage could increase reliability by ensuring that the power generated by renewable energy is available at all hours to serve our membership.

“Such storage could be particularly important during extreme weather conditions that last several days. Long-duration storage also provides an excellent hedge against volatile energy prices.”

“This represents a bold step towards proving that vision of an affordable, renewable future is possible without sacrificing reliability,” said CEO Mateo Jaramillo.