Form Energy, a green energy startup that plans to make batteries that can store wind and solar energy for long periods of time, has raised $70 million in fresh funding as reported by Reuters. This brings the Somerville-based company’s total funding raised to nearly $120 million.
Founded in 2017, Form Energy is the brainchild of Yet-Ming Chiang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who experimented with making rechargeable batteries out of sulfur instead of lithium, claiming sulfur is both more plentiful and capable of storing energy longer. He partnered up with Form Energy’s current CEO Mateo Jaramillo, who had been doing similar experiments with different, undisclosed chemicals.
Together, they created Form Energy with the goal of building a battery that eliminates the need for coal and gas entirely, and allows for a 100 percent renewable, carbon-free grid.
“Renewable electricity — primarily wind and solar — has become the lowest-cost form of generating electricity in many parts of the U.S. and in the world. But the problem that we have is that renewable electricity is not dispatchable. And by that term, we mean we can’t call on it for more power when we need it. You simply can’t ask the sun to produce more solar power in a given time, or for the wind to blow harder,” Chiang said in an 2019 interview with NPR’s All Things Considered. “The ability to store energy makes our electricity more dispatchable and more reliable over longer periods of time.”
The last time Built In caught up with Form Energy was last year, when the company raised a $40 million Series B round. At the time, Jaramillo said the arrival of this kind of battery was “not nearly as far off as many would believe” and that the fresh cash would “provide Form with the resources necessary to continue to drive [its] progress forward.”
The company has since filed a patent for its battery and began piloting its product with Minnesota-based Great River Energy, the state’s second largest electric utility company.
Now, while Jaramillo did not disclose who participated in this latest funding, he told Reuters their interest was an “acknowledgement” that “this market is here and coming faster than people had realized.” He also said more details on the Series C would be released in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, Form Energy is hiring, with more than a dozen open tech positions available right now.