Our client, Quidnet Energy (an energy technology company backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures) is looking to make solar and wind energy even more accessible by turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults.
Hyperion have partnered with a growing number of entrepreneurs in this emerging market to use batteries or other technologies to bank electricity when prices and demand are low, and discharge it when they are high - and we're super excited to be managing the search to find Quidnet Energy's 5th employee - an exceptional candidate who can take the lead in developing the company's grid scale long duration storage projects in the US.
It's a really fascinating breakthrough technology that Quidnet are pioneering.
The most widely used form of energy storage currently is pumped hydro - an old technology that works by using excess electricity to pump water up to a reservoir when there is surplus energy, and then releasing the water to run turbines when energy is needed.
But it has geographical limitations, requiring access to two reservoirs at different altitudes. Building those can cause a loss of biodiversity or force the migration of people settled in the area.
Quidnet’s technology uses water to store energy, but without the need for rivers or dams.
Instead, it uses excess electricity to pump water into the underground shale rock found in new wells dug for the purpose or in abandoned oil-and-gas wells. After water fills up tiny cracks in the rock, forcing more in creates pressure, which compresses shale like a spring.
When energy is needed, the pressure is let off and the water that gushes out is used to run turbines that re-generate electricity.
Before BEV’s investment, Quidnet had raised $1.5 million through the Clean Energy Venture Group and Prime Coalition. In 2016, the startup ran tests in Texas and Nevada to show that the technology can work.
Now it will use the $6.4 million raised through BEV and Evok Innovations on more field trials to develop the technology which can offer energy storage at much lower costs than pumped hydro, while avoiding the inherent disadvantages of building dams and surface reservoirs.
If you'd like to learn more about the role, please see the full JD here.
If you're looking to find a clean technology rockstar for your team & you'd like to learn more about Hyperion's capabilities, please get in touch (and in the meantime, visit our brand new website!)
Daniel Goldman, co-founder and managing director at Clean Energy Venture Group, the Quidnet investor. “We view Quidnet as solving one of the most important challenges – enabling renewable resources such as wind and solar to penetrate the market while accomplishing an important goal of maintaining grid stability,” Goldman said.