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Nidus Portfolio Company Electrochaea awarded 2 European grants for power-to-gas projects totaling USD500,000

May 9, 2013

Electrochaea is pleased to announce that the company has been chosen as the recipient of two independent grants to further develop its novel power-to-gas technology from Danish grid operator Energinet.dk and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The first grant was awarded by the Danish electricity and gas grid operator Energinet.dk through the ForskEL technology demonstration program. Electrochaea will receive up to DKK 3 million (approx. $500,000) in matching support toward the cost of further developing its power-to-gas technology for the Danish market. As part of the grant, Electrochaea will fund laboratory and engineering work as well as a feasibility study for the realization of a MW-scale power-to-gas facility to be built in Denmark starting in 2014.  Insero Business Services will provide project administration and reporting services to the project.

Steen Vestervang, R&D Coordinator at Energinet.dk, remarks: “As the transmission system operator of the Danish electricity and gas grid, we see power-to-gas as an enabling technology for Denmark’s future low-carbon energy system with a high penetration of wind energy. We believe Electrochaea has a highly interesting solution and hope that our support will help the company bring its technology to the next stage of development.” Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea, adds: “Energinet.dk has been promoting power-to-gas as part of their long term strategy to integrate their electrical power and gas grids for storage and reliable delivery of renewable energy. We are excited about their continued support and are confident that this grant will allow us to quickly scale our technology to megawatt size.”

The second grant was awarded by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as part of the Energy Technology Demonstration Competition. Up to £40,000 was made available to cover parts of the costs of developing a detailed feasibility study for a 1-MW power-to-gas facility to be built in the UK starting in the second half of 2013. In this project, Electrochaea is part of a consortium led by Hydrogenics Europe N.V., a leading electrolyzer manufacturer based in Oevel, Belgium. Other members include CNG Services Ltd, a leading engineering firm for gas-to-grid projects in the UK, and National Grid, the UK’s main gas and power grid operator. Overall, 12 projects were selected for Phase 1 of this competition, but only one in the power-to-gas space.

Greg Barker, UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, has been cited saying: “This new investment will give these organisations the boost they need to drive forward the development of a range of innovative low carbon designs, helping cut costs and bring new technologies to market in this sector.” Filip Smeets, General Manager Europe at Hydrogenics, remarks: “Power-to-gas is already a hot topic in many countries in Europe and North America, including Germany, Denmark and Canada. We are excited to help DECC increase their understanding of the role power-to-gas could play in the UK.”Dominic Hofstetter, VP of Business Development at Electrochaea, adds: “The UK does not only have a lot of potential for wind energy but also a modern gas grid as well as ambitious targets for the decarbonization of its power, heat and industrial sectors. We believe that power-to-gas can overcome multiple obstacles in the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy and are excited to see that DECC agrees with that view.”

The submission deadline for the Phase 1 feasibility studies is May 30, 2013. Successful Phase 2 bidders will be notified by late June/early July 2013. Selected projects will run through March 2015.

About Power-to-Gas
Power-to-gas is an innovative and disruptive concept for grid-scale energy storage. The large and growing penetration of wind and solar energy, which produce electricity intermittently and independent of demand, causes large supply/demand imbalances and stabilization challenges in the electricity grid. Power-to-gas converts such surplus electricity into methane, the principal component of natural gas, for direct injection into the existing gas infrastructure. Because the capacity of many natural gas networks is practically unlimited for the purpose of energy storage, the energy storage capacity of power-to-gas far surpasses that of batteries, pumped hydro, and compressed air energy storage. Once in the pipelines, the gas can be used for power production during peak-hours, as renewable gas in industry and transportation, and for long-distance energy transmission via existing pipelines.

About Electrochaea
A spin-off from the University of Chicago, Electrochaea is a clean technology start-up developing a disruptive technology for grid-scale energy storage. Electrochaea’s biocatalytic power-to-gas technology converts low-cost and stranded electricity into pipeline-grade methane for direct injection into the existing natural gas network. Backed by a number of high-profile strategic investors, Electrochaea is currently scaling its technology to commercial size through a series of technology development projects. The company has operations in Denmark and the United States.

About Energinet.dk
Energinet.dk is an independent public enterprise owned by the Danish state as represented by the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building. Energinet.dk’s tasks are to maintain the overall short-term and long-term security of electricity and gas supply, develop the main Danish electricity and gas transmission infrastructure, and support eco-friendly power generation and the development and demonstration of green energy production technologies, among others.

About Insero Business Services
Insero Business Services is a consulting firm specialised in developing the business of companies and entrepreneurs in the fields of energy and ICT. With extensive knowledge, competences and network in these fields, Insero Business Services can help companies mature their innovative ideas into specific development project plans and proposals aimed at national as well as EU project programmes. Once support for projects has been granted, Insero Business Services can also provide professional associated business services such as project management, administration, dissemination and financial, or other, reporting.

About Hydrogenics
Hydrogenics Corporation is a world leader in engineering and building the technologies required to enable the acceleration of a global power shift. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Hydrogenics provides hydrogen generation, energy storage and hydrogen power modules to its customers and partners around the world. Hydrogenics has manufacturing sites in Germany, Belgium and Canada and service centers in Russia, China, India, Europe, the US and Canada.

About CNG Services
CNG Services Ltd is the UK’s leading gas-to-grid engineering firm, providing a range of low carbon engineering services based on natural gas, including the creation of a national network of CNG stations on the high pressure grid, the injection of biomethane into the gas grid, and the of Green Gas Certificates/CNG as a vehicle fuel.

For more information, please contact: Dominic Hofstetter, VP of Business Development at +41 79 686 17 27 or dh@electrochaea.com.