As Aquion aims to bring its battery to market, it tops up its coffers from Bill Gates, investors


Sodium battery startup Aquion Energy is trying to cross the chasm this year. Founded in 2007, the power grid battery maker is looking to finally commercialize its battery in 2014, and to get it there on Wednesday it announced that it’s raised another $20 million from investors like Bill Gates, Tao Invest, Kleiner Perkins, Foundation Capital and others.

The latest funding was an extension of a $35 million round announced back in the spring of 2013. Aquion has been building out a factory — to the tune of $75 million to $80 million — in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. That factory is supposed to start shipping products to early customers in the first half of this year and eventually create 400 jobs by the end of 2015.

The tech behind Aquion’s battery was developed out of Carnegie Mellon University by founder and chief technology officer Jay Whitacre. The battery uses…

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