Energy Storage Technology

Testing + Inspection

Bill Gates-Backed Group Supporting New Energy Storage Technology

A Massachusetts-based group developing an energy storage system to support renewable energy resources is moving forward with plans for a prototype facility outside Boston.

Fourth Power said it received $19 million in funding to help scale its technology, which the company said is more cost-effective than lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries and will provide higher power density. The group on Tuesday said its technology can help solve issues with the intermittent nature of power generation from renewables such as solar and wind.

The company said its “thermal energy storage technology uses renewable energy to heat carbon blocks to temperatures so hot they glow like the sun,” and then later releases that heat “on demand to the grid as electricity.”

The investment round was led by the venture capital firm DCVC, a San Francisco Bay Area-based group that provides capital for companies in the high-tech sector. Other investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), founded in 2015 by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and the Black Venture Capital Consortium, a group representing HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities).

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