LightSail Energy

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LightSail Energy
Type of site
Founded2008; 11 years ago (2008)
Key peopleSteve Crane, CEO
Danielle Fong, CSO
IndustryEnergy storage
WebsiteLightSail Energy

LightSail Energy was a compressed air energy storage technology startup located in Berkeley, California.[1]

LightSail was founded in 2008, by CEO Steve Crane, chief science officer Danielle Fong, and engineer Edwin P. Berlin, Jr.. It was initially focused on using compressed air to power a scooter, but shifted towards a compressed-air powered generator that will fit inside a standard shipping container.[2] [3]

As of late 2014, the company had around 55 employees.[4]

In December 2015, Fong announced that pilot tests for the system were scheduled to begin in 2016. By that time LightSail had started working on developing pressurized gas storage tanks for the natural gas industry.[5] The company said it sold their first one 2016.[6]

As of February 2016, LightSail had raised approximately $70 million in venture capital investment.[7] Investors in LightSail include Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel, Microsoft founder Bill Gates,[8] Innovacorp, and oil supermajor Total S.A..[9]

As of January 2018 the company described itself as in "hibernation" and cut the workforce back to 15.[10]

Nova Scotia project[edit]

Plans for a test site in Nova Scotia were announced in July 2014. Surplus energy from wind turbines was to be stored using a compressed-air system with a water-based heat recovery process. This project did not come to fruition.[11][12]


  1. ^ Frangoul, Anmar (January 12, 2015). "A lot of hot air? Why energy storage matters". CNBC.
  2. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie (November 7, 2012). "In the post-Solyndra era, still some (rare) big bets left for cleantech". GigaOm.
  3. ^ Holt, David (October 2014). "Reaching for the moon". Progress Media. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016.
  4. ^ Okyle, Carly (September 15, 2014). "Top 30 Startups to Watch". Entrepreneur.
  5. ^ Bergstein, Brian (December 22, 2015). "The Energy Startup Conundrum". MIT Technology Review.
  6. ^ Wesoff, Eric (May 26, 2016). "LightSail Energy Storage and the Failure of the Founder Narrative". Greentech Media.
  7. ^ Haislip, Barbara (February 21, 2016). "Energy-Storage Startup LightSail Plots Long-Term Game Plan". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ Metz, Rachel (November 5, 2012). "LightSail Energy Snags $37M in Funding". MIT Technology Review.
  9. ^ Wesoff, Eric; Trabish, Herman (February 18, 2013). "LightSail Gets $5.5M From Total, Thiel, Khosla, Gates for Compressed Air Energy Storage". Greentech Media.
  10. ^ Spector, Julian (December 19, 2017). "LightSail Energy Enters 'Hibernation' as Quest for Game-Changing Energy Storage Runs Out of Cash". Greentech Media.
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links[edit]