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Bill Gates backs Stanford engineers’ brainchild in $150M round to realise zero-carbon electricity

Mainspring Energy Founder
Image credits: Mainspring Energy

Based in Menlo Park, California, Mainspring, an onsite power generation provider, has picked up more than $150 million in the first stage of its Series E funding. The round was led by global growth equity investor Lightrock (that invested in Dock and CredAvenue) and joined by others including Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Fine Structure Ventures, the private equity firm affiliated with the parent company of Fidelity Investments, Princeville Capital, and Lineage Ventures.

Switch to zero-carbon future

Mainspring will use the funds to develop new linear generator models and to accelerate the commercial, industrial, data centre, and utility adoption of Mainspring Linear Generators producing zero-carbon electricity.

Alongside the funding announcement, Mainspring has also partnered with Lineage Logistics, the world’s largest temperature-controlled industrial REIT and logistics provider, to deploy up to 150 generators across the United States.

“Mainspring’s technology will help support our move to net zero carbon energy,” said Chris Thurston, head of renewable energy projects for Lineage. “Mainspring generators improve energy independence and buffer our growing use of solar power, while offering the potential future use of zero carbon fuels like green hydrogen and others. This plays an important role in meeting our Lineage Climate Pledge commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.”

Mainspring Chief Commercial Officer Jim Dawe said, “Lineage is a global business leader and role model actively demonstrating how resilient energy and sustainability work together to drive growth and profitability. They have long been an innovator in technology adoption and smart, data-driven decision-making. We are proud to have them as our partner in expanding linear generator technology into new geographies and demonstrating our proven capability to run zero-carbon fuels.”

Lightrock Partner Kevin Bone said, “Mainspring’s radical flexibility in clean power generation — the ability to operate multiple fuel types, to turn on and off rapidly, to be placed anywhere, easily and affordably — has the potential to demonstrably speed the world’s move to zero-carbon electricity. Lightrock invests in companies that can deliver significant, measurable climate impact, and Mainspring fits ideally into our portfolio, which also includes innovators in fields such as hydrogen electrolysis and biogas conversion.”

“Mainspring is proud to contribute innovations in power generation to accelerate the move to the zero-carbon future,” said Mainspring CEO and Founder Shannon Miller. “We’ve achieved this together with pioneering customers like Lineage and the backing of some of the world’s top venture, strategic, and financial investors, all of whom are deeply dedicated to addressing climate change in meaningful ways. Our Series E adds yet more outstanding investors and enables us to even more rapidly expand our product offerings and scale our ongoing deployments to customers.”

Developed linear generators

Mainspring was founded by Shannon Miller, Matt Svrcek and Adam Simpson in 2010. Its co-founders are Stanford engineers seeking a new approach to generating clean, resilient, affordable electricity. It has created a modular, scalable, and versatile zero-carbon electricity ‘Linear Generator’ with a wide range of applications.

The low-cost, highly efficient & fuel-flexible Linear Generator is used in commercial and industrial uses, including solar and wind power, providing prime &/or backup power, managing demand spikes, lowering and controlling electricity costs. Applications for utility and other grid-side customers include grid-edge resilience, displacing diesel backup generators and peaker plants, EV fleet charging, and avoiding expensive transmission and distribution infrastructure costs.

Clients benefit from outstanding sustainability, high efficiency, low total cost of ownership, and siting and operational flexibility.

In November 2021, Lineage announced that it has deployed two Mainspring Linear Generators in tandem with 3.3 MW of solar arrays to achieve its first cold-storage facility to produce 100% of its energy onsite.

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