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Exclusive: Sage Geosystems raises $17M for energy storage

Illustration of a cross section of the earth with a quarter inside

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sage Geosystems has raised $17 million in a first close of a Series A to develop a geothermal system that stores and dispatches energy with pressurized water.

Why it matters: The company has developed what it calls a geopressured geothermal system to harvest energy from pressurized water, and it has attracted some major oil and gas drillers as investors.

State of plahy: Conventional geothermal energy projects use hot rock deep beneath the Earth's surface to heat water to generate electricity.

  • Sage Geosystems says it's using not just the heat underground but also the pressure.

How it works: A pilot project last year produced 200 KW of energy for 18 hours, which Sage Geosystems termed a long-duration demonstration of its tech.

  • It also dispatched 1 MW for 30 minutes in a "load-following" demo that would provide energy with shifting demand.

The latest: Oklahoma oil and gas giant Chesapeake Energy led the initial close of Sage's Series A.

  • Arch Meredith, Helium-3 Ventures and existing investors Virya, Nabors Industries and Ignis Energy participated.
  • Sage Geosystems is aiming to hit $30 million in the round. It held initial close in December, about a year after it started fundraising.

What's next: Sage plans to start construction of a 3 MW commercial project in Texas in the next quarter. It's aiming to bring it online by the end of the year.

  • The startup says it plans to generate revenue from engineering services and a royalty on its IP and ultimately from licensing.
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