VEIR, a company developing a new approach to using High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) for electricity transmission, today announced $10 million in Series A financing and debuted a new architecture for high-voltage superconducting transmission lines to transform the grid. The company’s Series A investment was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), with participation from existing investor Congruent Ventures and new investor The Engine. The financing brings the company’s total funding to date to more than $12 million.
With the expected growth of electric vehicles and the rest of the economy shifting to electric power from fossil fuels, we will need extremely large amounts of new renewable energy and a correlating amount of transmission. However, as demonstrated by the failure of several high-profile transmission projects, current transmission technologies are too expensive and often face political opposition. HTS has long held the promise of using smaller transmission lines and better utilization of existing rights-of-way, but has been hampered by higher costs, distance limitations and overall system complexity. VEIR’s novel approach to HTS—which was unveiled today—solves those problems by simplifying the system design that connects green energy sources to the transmission grid to address the ever-growing demand for electricity and overcoming constraints currently holding back renewables penetration.
VEIR’s founders are from MIT, BP, and ARPA. Together, the team is commercializing an approach based on HTS tape and a novel cooling system for high-voltage superconducting transmission lines. The new capital will allow VEIR to scale its team and begin to develop and test the critical subsystems required to deploy its product to the transmission grid. VEIR will also use the funding to establish a physical development site in Massachusetts to demonstrate its core technical innovation of evaporative cryogenic cooling, which is crucial in enabling the cost-effective deployment of HTS transmission lines.
“Achieving decarbonization goals require increasing penetrations of renewables that are located far from major population centers along traditional transmission corridors. This, along with supporting the megatrend of electrification, will require a doubling or tripling of U.S. transmission capacity by 2050,” said VEIR CEO Adam Wallen. “VEIR’s technology enables increasing the amount of power transmitted in a given right-of-way by a factor of five. This will enable the transmission of more power at lower voltages in smaller right-of-ways, reducing the uncertainty, time, and cost of siting and permitting new transmission corridors.”
VEIR is the first of BEV’s “newco strategy,” where the firm identifies new climate technology opportunities and creates a company to fill a void in the market. “HTS cables have long promised the ability to deliver high power through smaller rights-of-way, a key process when transmitting energy from remote sources of renewables to population centers,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “With VEIR, we can finally unlock low-cost, high-reliability HTS transmission with their innovative, evaporative cooling technology.”
“We are very excited to support VEIR’s unique approach to solving the biggest challenges in transmission infrastructure that will improve overall grid resilience, reduce long term energy costs, and increase the amount of renewable energy resources on the grid,” said Joshua Posamentier, Managing Partner and Co-Founder Congruent Ventures.
“Electricity transmission is a critical facet of any plan to decarbonize the electric sector, and VEIR’s approach will enable a significant increase in transmission capacity through existing infrastructure, not only reducing the cost of transmission but also removing key barriers to transmission development,” said Katie Rae, Managing Partner and CEO of The Engine. “The science behind VEIR’s approach and its leadership team will be instrumental to enabling an energy future where more parts of the economy are electrified.”
VEIR is hiring technical talent in the cryogenic and energy industries, as well as operational and sales staff to support commercial development. To learn more about VEIR, please visit www.veir.com.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, VEIR is enabling reliable, cost–effective HTS transmission over very long distances through narrow rights–of–way, connecting lowest cost renewable resources to where they’re needed, when they’re needed. Its passive, evaporative cryogenic cooling delivers 20 times the cooling power per kilogram of nitrogen flow compared to mechanical subcooling. The future isn’t just cleaner, it’s affordable. To learn more, please visit http://www.VEIR.com