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Advanced Batteries & Energy Storage Research
Posted on September 30, 2019 by  & 

Funding highlights shift to higher-value long-duration energy storage

Hydrostor, a leading developer of Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) projects, announced he closing of US$37 million in growth financing. Hydrostor is a developer of utility-scale energy storage facilities that can be flexibly sited using its proprietary Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) technology and purpose-built underground storage caverns. A-CAES is unique as a grid storage solution: it provides long-duration storage like pumped hydro, but has the key advantage of being able to be flexibly sited where the grid needs it, allowing the targeting of high-value (and immediately available) grid applications like transmission deferral and fossil plant replacement. The technology operates very similarly to a gas plant but is entirely non-emitting, is much more cost-effective than batteries at scale with a 50+-year asset life, and is ideally suited to providing the long-duration storage resource necessary for decarbonizing the grid. Hydrostor has three projects in operation or under construction in Canada and Australia, and numerous utility-scale projects ranging in capacity from 20 - 500 MW and duration from 4 to 24 hours, in various development stages across the USA, Canada, Chile and Australia.
RBC Capital Markets acted as Hydrostor's advisor on the transaction. Meridiam, the global developer, asset and fund manager specializing in sustainable infrastructure and energy transition projects, has formed a strategic partnership to support the origination and development of Hydrostor projects. Renewable energy developer and independent power producer Elemental Energy participated in the fundraising. Hydrostor also received additional funding from existing investors including Canoe Financial, ArcTern Ventures, MaRS Catalyst Fund and Lorem Partners. The financing included a combination of equity, debt, project development and cash commitments, and an asset acquisition. Energy Technology company Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE), will also be a strategic partner. BHGE's turbomachinery technology forms a critical part of the overall A-CAES system, and as part of the agreement, BHGE will supply electric motor compressor and turbine generator solutions for Hydrostor's projects globally.
Hydrostor expects to use the financing to complete construction of its second commercial reference facility, its Angas Project in Australia, and to advance the company's pipeline of large-scale A-CAES projects. Those projects represent over 2 GW and 16 GWh of deployment potential in the USA, Canada, Chile and Australia, while the company expands opportunities with significant global project potential across many other markets. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Batteries for Stationary Energy Storage 2019-2029.
"Hydrostor's A-CAES is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for flexibly-sited, long-duration energy storage as power grids continue to decarbonize and adapt to higher penetrations of intermittent renewable energy," said Hydrostor CEO, Curtis VanWalleghem. "This funding will enable our development team to continue advancing the late-stage projects we have under way. We are thrilled to collaborate with, and benefit from, the expertise of Meridiam in project development and financing; BHGE's industry-leading technology, service capabilities and commitment to advancing low-carbon solutions; and Elemental Energy's renewable project development and operations experience."
"Meridiam is thrilled to be joining Hydrostor in the development of its future A-CAES projects in Canada, the USA, Australia and Chile. We believe that the unique expertise of our two firms, combined with the know-how of other strategic partners, will position our team for success in developing numerous projects which will improve renewable energy reliance and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," said Elisabeth Hivon, new board member representing Meridiam.
The funding announcement comes on the heels of recent milestones associated with Hydrostor's Angas A-CAES Project in South Australia. That project has achieved permitting approval, started construction and received AUD$9 million in combined funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA) Advancing Renewables Program, and the South Australian Renewable Technology Fund (separate from and additional to this financing). The company's other commercial reference system is the Goderich A-CAES Facility in Ontario, Canada, which is contracted to the province's grid operator, IESO, and expected to be operational in the next month. The Goderich Facility was recently selected as a finalist for this year's Energy Storage North America (ESNA) Innovation Award.
In recent weeks some of the most significant single investments ever made in energy storage have been in companies focused on long-duration technologies that can address immediate, high-value opportunities. According to research firm Wood Mackenzie, global energy storage deployments will grow thirteenfold over the next six years, from a 12 gigawatt-hour (GWh) market in 2018 to a 158 GWh market in 2024. Such growth "will include a shift from short-duration systems providing high-value, but limited-size markets such as frequency regulation, to long-duration systems that can start to displace diesel, oil and natural-gas peaker plants."
Source and top image: Hydrostor
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