General Compression is a Newton, MA-based company that has developed a energy system that makes available "dispatachable wind" in order to face the challenge of intermittency that wind and many renewable energy sources face.
They have developed the General Compression Advanced Energy Storage (CGAES) system that takes electricity produced by wind turbines and stores that energy in the form of high-pressure air underground in geological formations.
In 2009, General Compression received a $750,000 grant from the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) agency, a funding entity dedicated to creative transformational energy research.
Check out this article about ARPA-E projects that have attracted private investors. Notice how 5 out of the 6 companies are Massachusetts-based. Not bad!
General Compression also recently received $54.5 million from private investors (wow!) and will launch a pilot project in Texas in partnership with ConocoPhilipps, US Renewables Group, Duke Energy, and Serious Change. The pilot will start at 2MW, scalable up to 1,000MW.
Energy storage systems. Hm, I haven't written very much about them. Mainly because I haven't read that much about them. And clearly, for renewable sources, it is the major technical roadblock in integrating them into the Grid.
This sort of technology could definitely shift the paradigm.