Hydrostor announces partnership for underwater energy storage in Aruba

MaRS Cleantech Fund-supported company signs power purchase agreement with WEB Aruba N.V.

Toronto, October 23, 2013 – Toronto-based energy storage firm Hydrostor Inc. and WEB Aruba N.V. have signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for an underwater compressed air energy storage facility based on Hydrostor’s proprietary technology.

The project will be located at the Vader Piet wind park on Aruba’s southeastern coast. The project is expected to start storing power in 2014.

“Hydrostor is excited to bring our underwater compressed air energy storage technology to market in order to support island nations and coastal centres’ transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor CEO. “We are delighted to be partnering with WEB Aruba – one of the most progressive and innovative electrical utilities in the Caribbean – to demonstrate that storage paired with renewable generation offers a safe, reliable and lower cost alternative to fossil fuels. WEB Aruba’s leadership in advancing the goal of 100 per cent sustainable islands is exemplary.”

“Envisioning green, clean and fuel oil free water and energy production by 2020, WEB Aruba is very happy with this innovative energy storage solution,” said WEB Aruba General Manager Oslin Boekhoudt. “It enables us to continue our efforts to introduce more sustainable forms of energy in the near future.”

“We’re excited to see Hydrostor move into their first commercial market – that’s a great moment for any cleantech company,” said Tom Rand, co-managing partner of the MaRS Cleantech Fund, an early investor in Hydrostor. “Hydrostor changes the game for renewables, and the WEB agreement is the first of many to come.”

Hydrostor’s proprietary technology is based on a simple idea: Anchor a low-cost air cavity to the bottom of a lake or ocean floor, and store energy in it by filling it with compressed air created using surplus renewable energy. The energy is discharged from the system by releasing the air stored underwater to drive a turbine recreating electricity when it is most needed – either to meet daily demand peaks or to cover periods of calm winds or cloud cover that prevent power from being harnessed.

The PPA was recently ratified during the Green Aruba IV Conference in the presence of the Aruban Minister of Finance, Communication, Utilities and Energy, Mike de Meza. The Green Aruba Conference is held annually by the Government of Aruba and is in line with its commitment to increase Aruba’s sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint. The Green Aruba IV Conference was well-attended by regional stakeholders, as well as representatives from other organizations working with Aruba in the area of sustainability, including The Carbon War Room and the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL), a non-profit organization managed by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy for the US Department of Energy.

About WEB Aruba N.V.
WATER- EN ENERGIEBEDRIJF ARUBA N.V. – WEB (www.webaruba.com) is responsible for the production of Aruba’s drinking water and power, as well as the distribution of drinking water.

About Hydrostor
Inc. is a privately owned Canadian company that has developed a proprietary, low-cost method of grid-scale energy storage using underwater compressed air. Hydrostor’s strategy is to partner with utilities and energy producers to accelerate large-scale deployment.

About MaRS Cleantech Fund LP
MaRS Cleantech Fund (www.marsvf.com) is a privately-backed Canadian venture fund focused on early-stage cleantech investing. The Fund has developed a unique investment model through its partnership with one of the largest innovation centres in world, MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com).  Through MaRS, the Fund is able to provide strategic advisory services and introductions to global corporate partners. The fund is managed by Tom Rand (@trand, www.tomrand.net) and Murray McCaig (@murraymccaig), two experienced entrepreneurs that bring a wealth of startup experience to their portfolio companies.

For more information, please contact:

Curtis VanWalleghem
CEO, Hydrostor Inc

Asja Dongen
Media Relations, WEB Aruba N.V.