Foley Hoag Emerging Energy Technology Client SustainX Receives $14.4 Million in Financing
March 22, 2011
Foley Hoag client SustainX, based in West Lebanon, NH, received $14.4 million from GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), and other investors to continue developing technology for energy storage using compressed air. Foley Hoag has represented SustainX since its inception in 2007 and acts as general counsel for the emerging energy technology company.
SustainX technology enables wind, solar and other renewable energy power plants to deliver electricity as reliably and consistently as conventional power plants. It is also a great eco-friendly alternative to natural gas “peaker plants,” that operate only when electricity demand is high. By improving the economics to renewable energy and grid stability, SustainX compressed-air energy storage systems can play an essential role in enabling the nation’s Smart Grid and energy independence.
SustainX is a participant in the GE Ecomagination Challenge’s “Powering the Grid” program, which aims to accelerate the development of innovative power-grid technologies through open collaboration, while providing financial support to develop and commercialize innovative technologies. GE Energy Financial Services joined Cadent Energy Partners and prior investors Polaris Ventures and Rockport Capital in the new round of venture financing.
Robert L. Birnbaum, Partner at Foley Hoag LLP said “SustainX is a great example of a new energy company that is making smart decisions while tapping tremendous opportunities. This new round of funding further validates the confidence the market has in SustainX’ management team, its product promise and the business fundamentals that have been put in place to grow this company. We’re honored to have represented them not just in this deal, but since their founding.”
SustainX was founded in 2007 by engineers at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. It has received funding from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Energy Storage Program at the US Department of Energy, as well as equity investments from GE Energy Financial Services and top-tier venture investors Rockport Capital (with offices in Menlo Park, CA and Boston, MA), Polaris Venture Partners (Boston, MA and Seattle, WA), and Cadent Energy Partners (Stamford, CT and Houston, TX). SustainX is a General Electric Ecomagination Partner. SustainX has received four US patents to date on core aspects of its technology, solidifying its leading IP position in the field of compressed-air energy storage. The issued patents are general enough to cover a wide range of isothermal systems, including both existing SustainX systems and those in development.
The company’s transformative energy storage technology, which it terms ICAES™ (for Isothermal Compressed-Air Energy Storage), uses no fuel. SustainX’s competitive advantages stem from its patented proprietary thermodynamic and hydraulic control innovations, a design centered on mature industrial components, and reliance on ambient-temperature, nontoxic working fluids.
SustainX ICAES is targeting the emerging market for bulk (grid-scale) energy storage being created by the growth in renewable generation, and aims to disrupt costly “peaker” plants that burn natural gas or other polluting fuels.
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