Houston energy storage company secures another $2M in federal funding
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced another $13 million in funding to seven projects that are developing hydropower as a clean energy source. A Houston startup made the list of recipients.
“For more than a century, Americans have harnessed the power of water to electrify our communities, and it’s a critical renewable energy source that will help us reach our climate goals,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm says in a news release. “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will help to expand the use of hydropower, increasing access to affordable, clean power and creating good-paying jobs.”
Houston-based Quidnet Energy Inc. received a little over $2 million for its project, entitled "Energy Storage Systems for Overpressure Environments," which is taking place in East Texas. The company, founded in 2013, is using water storage to power carbon-free electric grid approach to energy. As the DOE notes, the "low-cost form of long-duration electricity storage uses existing wellbores, which offers an opportunity to repurpose legacy oil and gas assets," per the release.
It's not the first Quidnet has secured funding from the DOE. Last fall, the company earned a $10 million grant from the organization's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, program. Quidnet is also venture backed, with its most recent raise, a $10 million series B round, closing in 2020 and including participation from Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Canada-based Evok Innovations.
The DOE's other PSH, or pumped storage hydropower, grants were announced as follows.
- The Electric Power Research Institute, based in Palo Alto, California, secured $2.3 million to test "a turbine/generator system designed to add power-generating infrastructure to non-powered dams" in Iowa, per the release.
- Atlanta-based Emrgy received $1.6 million to "develop a turbine to generate hydropower at non-powered dams where the water drop is less than 30 feet or in low-flow conduits, such as existing irrigation canals," in Washington.
- Another Atlanta company, Georgia Power Co. is getting just under $2.9 million to develop and deploy PSH facilities across the country with its utility-scale solution to retrofit traditional hydropower facilities to serve as PSH facilities. The site the company will demonstrate it's tech is in Salem, Alabama.
- RCAM Technologies, based in Boulder, Colorado, will work on offshore PSH technology in San Pedro, California, with its $4 million grant.
- Drops for Watts received $243,540 to "develop a low-impact, modular system to generate hydropower from existing irrigation infrastructure" in Sagle, Idaho.
- In Atlanta, Turbine Logic will use its nearly $200,000 in funding to utilize digital twin technology "to better predict common maintenance needs in hydropower turbines."