Altaeros grabs $7 mln from Softbank


Softbank has agreed to invest $7 million in Altaeros Energies. Based in Somerville, Mass. and founded at MIT, Altaeros is a developer of wind turbine technology.

PRESS RELEASE

TOKYO & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) and Altaeros Energies, Inc. (“Altaeros”) today announced a definitive agreement under which SoftBank invests US$ 7 million in Altaeros to support the continued development and commercialization of its Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) technology.

Founded at MIT in 2010, Altaeros is leveraging proven aerospace technology to lift wind turbines into strong, consistent high altitude winds beyond the reach of traditional wind towers. Operating up to 2,000 feet (600 meters) above ground, the Altaeros BAT generates over twice the energy of similarly sized tower-mounted wind turbines. The BAT is transported in standard shipping containers and does not require a tower, crane, or large underground foundation for installation, eliminating many of the logistical challenges faced by traditional wind turbines.

“Altaeros’ airborne wind turbine technology is a new and promising renewable energy solution for remote islands and locations in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank. “We also believe in the BAT’s potential to create new businesses by combining it with communication and surveillance technologies. We look forward to working with the Altaeros team.”

The BAT’s significant increase in energy output, combined with its flexible deployment options, significantly reduces the cost of electricity for remote sites. In addition, the BAT can lift other equipment high into the air, delivering services such as telecommunications to its customers. The Altaeros BAT has a wide range of applications, which include island and remote communities; mining; oil & gas; agriculture; and disaster relief.

“We are honored to partner with SoftBank, one of the world’s most respected companies, to work together to commercialize the BAT,” said Ben Glass, CEO and CTO of Altaeros. “Led by Chairman & CEO Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s track record of business innovation, its commitment to increasing the deployment of renewable energy, and its successful partnerships with other top clean energy startups make it the perfect partner for Altaeros.”

About Altaeros Energies:
Altaeros was founded in 2010 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to commercialize the world’s first airborne wind turbine. Altaeros has received funding towards its wind turbine technology development from a number of sources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, the California Energy Commission, the Maine Technology Institute, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Cleantech Innovations New England, the ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, and the Alaska Energy Authority. Altaeros has also received funding from RNT Associates, wholly owned by Mr. Ratan N. Tata, former Chairman of Tata Sons. Altaeros is headquartered at Greentown Labs, a leading clean technology incubator located in Somerville, Massachusetts. For more information, high-resolution photos, and a demonstration video of the BAT, please visit www.altaerosenergies.com.

About SoftBank Corp.:
SoftBank Corp. (TSE:9984), through its subsidiaries and associates, offers a comprehensive range of advanced mobile communications, fixed-line communications and Internet services around the world. With Sprint joining in July 2013, the SoftBank Group became a leading global carrier that now has over 100 million subscribers. Maximizing synergies across its Group companies worldwide, SoftBank aspires to realize lifestyle innovation through IT. SoftBank is also encouraging the adoption of clean and safe energy through its business activities. To learn more, please visit http://www.softbank.jp/en/corp/

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