Meet the next generation of air energy storage players

So what if it’s geeky power grid gear. Entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators are working hard on developing the next-generation of compressed air energy storage technology. Like an air battery. And Bill Gates is a fan.

SustainX Raises $14.4M for Air Energy Storage

A startup building the next-generation of compressed air energy storage, SustainX, has raised a new round of funding from investors including GE. The funds will help the company start construction on a 1 MW compressed air energy storage project with its first customer AES.

Soon to Be a Reality: Next-Gen Compressed Air Energy Storage

Utility scale energy storage doesn’t get the type of attention as, solar or electric cars — particularly a tech as dry as compressed air energy storage. But startups are innovating in this area, and two in particular are moving ever closer to commercialization: SustainX and General Compression.

Vid-Biz: iTunes in the Cloud, World Cup Viewership, TiVo in Spain

Today on the Net: Apple is moving its iTunes music and movie service into the cloud, about a third of US residents watched the World Cup, according to Nielsen, and TiVo will supply software and services to power a next-generation TV initiative at ONO in Spain.

General Compression Pumps in $17M for Fuel-free Air Energy Storage

While everyone’s talking about new battery technologies that can store huge amounts of electricity for the power grid, for the time being the cheapest ways to store grid power is water and air — that is, pumped hydro and compressed air energy storage, or CAES. The latter involves using cheap power to pump air into underground caverns or tanks, then releasing it to augment a natural gas-fired turbine when power demands are at their peak.

Entrepreneurs and VCs are now looking for innovative ways to tweak this decades-old technology and startup General Compression has come up with an effective way to use compressed air for energy storage without burning natural gas. On Tuesday, the company announced the close of a $17 million Series A round of funding to help it build a commercial-scale unit to test the proposition.
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