NYSERDA Funds 9 Early-Stage Energy Storage Technologies

Nine early-stage New York energy storage companies were awarded “bench-to-prototype” funding, from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to move clean-technology energy storage devices from the lab to the marketplace and to help establish New York as an energy storage leader. The funds are going to companies that will bring increased energy efficiency and reliability to alternative-fuel vehicles and the electric grid. Each company will receive about $250,000.

The companies are members of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) Consortium, an energy storage testing center that was opened in April with $6.9 million in state grants and $16 million in funding from DNV Kema, a technical advisor to global energy companies. NY-BEST’s facility in Rochester, N.Y., provides unique testing and validation services needed to bring new battery and energy storage technologies to the commercial market. NY-BEST currently has more than 130 members.

New York is pushing the adoption of energy storage through initiatives such as new incentive programs for customers in Con Edison’s service territory and Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) RFP request for 150 MW of energy storage.

Here are the companies and technologies that received funding, and potential deal opportunities:

Bettergy (Peekskill, N.Y.), founded in 2010, seeks to scale up and develop a prototype for its low-cost rechargeable zinc-based battery. This novel technology, which is expected to sell at a significantly lower cost than similar batteries, has a long cycle life and can last up to 20 years. It would be attractive to electric grid and transportation storage applications and would also be more environmentally safe than other batteries of this type. It has received SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants from the DOD and National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as an ARPA-E RANGE grant. The company tells us that it is presently seeking its first institutional investment of $2.5 million in a Seed or Series A funding and pitched at the Greentech Investors Forum in NYC last month.

Lionano (Ithaca, N.Y.) is a startup seeking to commercialize a high-performance nano-engineered anode material for the lithium-ion battery sector. The development of this nano-anode material at Cornell University revealed characteristics of improved capacity, extended battery life, and reduced recharge time when compared to existing, available anodes. The company has made sales of its initial prototype that was made using a China OEM. Lionano, which pitched at Future Energy in Nov. 2013, recently raised seed funding and will be pitching for more capital during the Cleantech Startups Showcase at Columbia University on November 20th.

Graphenix Development (Williamsville, N.Y.), founded in 2009, is working to commercialize a nanostructured carbon electrode for high-power, high-energy ultracapacitors. Applications include hybrid vehicles, electric grid, industrial devices, and energy efficiency applications. It received $50,000 in debt funding in May 2013. Previous investors include Excell Partners (see its profile on Gust.)

Eonix, founded in 2013, is an energy materials startup at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany that is commercializing its technology to build a working prototype that could be used in the automotive industry. It will develop next-generation electrolytes that enable higher performance in ultracapacitors by storing up to 30 percent more energy than similar devices, leading to expanded capacity and reduced cost. It also recently received a $50,000 National Science Foundation grant.

Combined Energies (Latham, N.Y.), founded in 2011, is a developer of distributed generation systems and components and is employing its low-cost power conversion technology (DC to DC converter) to increase the life and run time of electrochemical batteries.

Hollingsworth & Vose (Greenwich, N.Y.) will develop high surface area separators, a component of advanced lead acid batteries used in micro-hybrid vehicles. H&V was founded in 1843 and is one of the world’s leading engineered papers and nonwoven materials manufacturers.

DNV GL (Rochester, N.Y.), a global technical advisor to the energy industry, will develop a novel separator for lithium-ion batteries. The purpose of the separator is to decrease the risk of fires due to lithium-ion batteries.

Custom Electronics (Oneonta, N.Y.) will develop a detailed commercialization plan and produce prototype devices for a high-voltage graphene-based electrolytic capacitor. This product is designed to provide increased power conditioning performance for applications such as computer servers and electrical equipment. The company, founded in 1964, is a developer of high-voltage mica capacitors and integrated electronic subassemblies.

Raymond Corp. (Greene, N.Y.) plans to test the use of Navitas Systems’ lithium-ion batteries in its electric lift trucks to increase performance in cold environments. The development of this nano-anode material at Cornell University revealed characteristics of improved capacity, extended battery life, and reduced recharge time when compared to existing, available anodes. The company, founded in 1922, is a leading developer of North American electric lift trucks.





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