In a recent development, the startup Eden, specializing in permeability enhancement technology, has successfully closed an oversubscribed seed funding round, securing $12 million. This brings the company's total funding to $21.3 million, which includes $9.2 million in non-dilutive grants.
The fresh injection of capital will enable Eden to scale its cutting-edge Electrical Reservoir Stimulation (ERS) technology deployment across a range of applications, including geothermal energy, geologic hydrogen production, geologic carbon storage, and sustainable mining. Leading the seed funding round were TechEnergy Ventures and Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE: HP), with participation from Grantham Foundation for the Protection of The Environment, Anglo American, Good Growth Capital, Mass Ventures, and Portfolia Green & Sustainability Fund.
Eden's journey to secure funding began with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and a small business innovation research grant from the National Science Foundation. In 2019, the company even engaged in a successful crowdfunding campaign to further its technological endeavors.
The capital infusion announced today will propel Eden's ERS technology into a phase of rapid expansion. Following a recent successful pilot test in Oman, the company is gearing up for additional pilot projects. These projects aim not only to validate the technology in the field but also to enhance Eden's capabilities in increasing permeability across diverse geologies for a multitude of purposes.
Reservoir stimulation technology has emerged as a pivotal innovation in the global energy transition. The U.S. DOE has recently emphasized the need for novel reservoir stimulation techniques, which could potentially unlock gigawatts of renewable power capacity by reducing the cost of next-generation geothermal systems by up to 90%.
Furthermore, these reservoir stimulation techniques have the potential to revolutionize geologic hydrogen production. Some experts estimate that geologic hydrogen may reach production costs below the DOE's 2030 target of $1 per kilogram. Eden's technology also extends its benefits to geologic carbon storage and low-impact mining, offering solutions to manage subsurface permeability, enhance CO2 injectivity, and accelerate the recovery of essential minerals from deep ore bodies or through in-situ mining.
Eden's patented ERS technology revolutionizes the optimization of geologic assets. By employing high-voltage electricity and advanced reservoir monitoring techniques, the company enhances rock permeability while precisely controlling the direction of the fracture network generated, thus targeting specific subsurface areas with remarkable precision. This breakthrough results in a significant improvement in reservoir productivity, making energy transition initiatives economically viable by leveraging geological reservoirs. ERS marks an evolution from traditional water-intensive hydraulic fracturing methods, which often create uncontrollable fractures, hindering fluid flow and economic viability.
The benefits of Eden's ERS technology extend beyond its technological advancements. It leads to a substantial reduction in the number of trucks required for fluid and proppant transportation, cuts down on emissions from wastewater treatment, minimizes pumping horsepower demands, and reduces seismic events. Ultimately, this translates into a reduction in CO2 emissions, decreased water consumption, and a safer environmental profile compared to conventional hydraulic fracturing operations.
Paris Smalls, CEO of Eden, explains their innovative approach, stating, “At Eden, we create underground lightning strikes to vaporize rocks and enhance permeability in geologic reservoirs. This is coupled with advanced 3D reservoir modeling, geophysical reservoir monitoring, and proprietary injection and production strategies to maximize the stimulated geologic reservoir volume, increasing the economic value of these resources.”
Alejandro Solé, Chief Investment Officer at TechEnergy Ventures, highlights the significance of Eden's technology, stating, “Eden's technology will become a critical enabler to many energy transition initiatives that require the controlled enhancement of subsurface permeability to more rapidly become economically viable and accelerate their deployment. The Eden team has the technology, the expertise, and the commitment to scale this technology across geologies. We're excited to support Paris and his team in this next phase of technology development.”
Chris Miller, Director of Helmerich & Payne Corporate Ventures, underscores the potential of Eden's technology in the context of increasing energy needs and environmental concerns, saying, “Eden is building technology in pursuit of a more efficient and renewable energy future. Our collective energy needs are growing right alongside the need to minimize environmental impact. Eden's technology has the potential to deliver right at this sweet spot, to increase yields while helping us move towards a more sustainable future.”