EnerVault Raises $15 Million, NanoSolar Raises $20 Million

EnerVault

EnerVault Corp, which is developing multi-megawatt energy storage technology, raised $15.5 million in a Series B round,  bringing its total funding to $24.5 million. 

Founded in 2008, EnerVault is developing grid-scale energy storage systems for commercial and industrial facilities. 

As our readers know, energy storage is a key enabling technology for integrating large scale renewable energy into the grid.

The company’s Engineered CascadeTM technology, stores intermittent renewable energy, stablilizes the grid through smart grid technologiy, and matches load demand and capacity as it’s needed, reducing service interruptions. 

"We see very significant opportunities for stationary energy storage systems to complement renewable energies and improve grid reliability and overall energy supply," says Manoelle Lepoutre, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Development and Environment of Total and President of Total Energy Ventures International. "EnerVault’s innovative technology addresses the key issues needed to integrate storage onto the grid or to complement intermittent renewable energy projects."

"Redox flow batteries are creating a new paradigm for grid-scale energy storage," says Richard See, Investment Partner at Mitsui Global Investment. "Because you scale the power independently of energy storage capacity, you can tailor the system to the needs of the application. EnerVault’s approach expands upon the fundamental configuring and sizing benefits of flow batteries to yield the best approach for utility-scale electricity. The more energy needed, the lower the costs, so it’s ideally suited for a number of situations where more than an hour or two of storage is needed."

Investors include Mitsui Global Investment, oil giant Total’s investment arm, Total Energy Ventures, 3M Company, TEL Venture Capital (the U.S. investment arm of Tokyo Electron), Commercial Energy of California, Oceanshore Ventures and US Invest, LLC. 

EnerVault has received grants of $5.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), California Energy Commission and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

In early February, DOE launched its fourth Energy Innovation Hub, this one for advanced research on batteries and energy storage. 

Nanosolar

Nanosolar, which uses nanotechnology to print thin film solar, closed $20 million to fund expansion. The company is attempting to deliver the lowest cost thin film solar through advanced design and manufacturing processes.

Current investors Mohr Davidow Ventures and OnPoint Technologies, Inc. participated in the round with new investor aeris CAPITAL.

"We believe solar printing is the future of low cost harvesting of solar energy," says Erik Oldekop of aeris CAPITAL. "We are eager to be a part of Nanosolar’s growth and validation."

DOE’s National Renewable Lab certified Nanosolar’s cell efficiency at 17.1% and the company’s expanded to 115 megawatts of production capacity.

Nanosolar prints solar cells based on CIGS technology and nanoparticle inks. Its first product, the Nanosolar Utility Panel, enables competitively priced peak power and installed system economics at utility-scale.

Solar start-ups have been re-tooling to compete with low priced Chinese manufacturers, which hasn’t been easy.

This investment is notable given the uneasiness investors have expressed about investing in capital intensive solar businesses since Solyndra.

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