LightSail Energy, a developer of energy storage technology, announced recently that it has raised $37.3 million in Series D funding led by San Francisco investor Peter Thiel. Khosla Ventures, which incubated the company and led LightSail’s earlier rounds, Bill Gates, Innovacorp, and several other investors also participated in the round. LightSail aims to solve the cost and efficiency problems that have prevented widespread adoption of energy storage by converting electrical energy to compressed air, and then reversing the process to deliver electrical energy again when it’s needed.Founded in 2009, LightSail Energy is applying thermodynamics (the science of heat transfer and utilization) to solve the problems of today’s electrical grid. The lack of economical energy storage at megawatt scale has limited the penetration of renewable energy generation, such as wind and solar, in many parts of the world and has limited grid transmission capacity. LightSail’s technology aims to make power available when it’s needed, not just when it’s available. LightSail also helps to manage the increasing demand for peak power, making the entire grid more reliable and more practical for erratic renewable sources of energy.
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