ESS sees flow battery demand curve trending up – pv magazine USA

Long-duration energy storage may have turned its growth curve upwards, and some of us may not have realized it. pv magazine United States sitting with Hugh McDermott from Energy Storage Systems Inc (ESS Inc) to RE+ to discuss technology and the future of the company.

The truth is that all the fuss around batteries has mostly focused on the lithium-ion industry, which has announced plans to manufacture over 7 TWh/year by 2031. And if it’s true that 90% of this capacity appears to be slated for the automotive industry, the stationary energy storage industry has a large-scale, funded co-conspirator in lithium-ion, aiding the rapid development of the global energy storage market. ‘energy.

However, the market shows that Lithium Ion isn’t the only game in town. ESS Inc is now apparently sold from its Iron Flow battery technologyand working hard to grow by at least 400% by the end of 2023.

When we asked McDermott about the location of the nation’s next long-running markets, he listed large-scale opportunities via Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and California. . If ESS were to complete all of these deals, it would saturate its manufacturing capacity.

ESS then reminded us of the projects they have already signed on to, such as their recently announced deal with California SMUD, for 200 MW/2,000 MWh of long-term projects. These projects are still in development and are expected to be rolled out to five to ten sites and used to increase resilience remotely. They will be placed near substations and other strategic distribution points.

The first installation is 4 MW/40 MWh and its deployment is planned for 2023.

McDermott then mentioned ESS’s 2 GWh deal by 2026 with Softbank starting in 2021, and the conversation shifted to the logistics behind supplying this demand.

Image: ESS Inc.

In the United States, ESS is looking to expand its generation to 25 MW per year by the end of 2022 and over 100 MW by the end of 2023. The company recently partnered with the Australian Energy Storage Industries Asia Pacific (ESI) to distribute ESS iron flux batteries in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. ESI will also build a plant in Australia, which is expected to produce 400 MW per year for the country, and will begin operations in 2024.

Aspirations for a manufacturing capacity of 750 MW per year were mentioned in an earnings call.

The company sees demand reaching well over 1 GW/yr of manufacturing capacity. The Long Duration Energy Storage Council has published an analysis suggesting that under the right conditions, 1.5-2 TW/85-140 TWh long life batteries could be deployed by 2040.

McDermott said ESS sees four megatrends pushing these huge volumes:

  1. Climate change and the need for resilience in places like Texas and California
  2. Decarbonization of electricity via renewable energies
  3. Electrify everything (this could triple our electricity needs)
  4. Aging infrastructure

As we progress through these trends, says McDermott, “once we hit 20-25% renewable electricity, balancing becomes more difficult using only batteries that last 1-4 hours. Due to its steepness, the evening ramp at sunset becomes really difficult. We have to go beyond the ramp, in the evening rush hour.

Real evidence of these future megatrends is also emerging outside of the ESS.

Source: California Energy Commission

California recently approved what may be the largest flow battery in the United States – a 60 MWh Vanadium Stream Facility on native lands in California. The battery will be coupled to a microgrid behind the meter with a solar carport.

Form Energy, with its 1 MW/150 MWh battery product, has signed two contracts: one in minnesotaand more recently an agreement in Georgia which could reach 15MW/1.5GWh.

Add the Inflation Reduction Act into the mix, and McDermott likens it to “rocket fuel”. The long-life market could see continued growth of over 90% per year, especially as ESS products receive a 10% bonus through the domestic content incentive. Of course, this will lead to learning curves, price drops, efficiencies, and increased volume.

Regarding its future, ESS’s goals are ambitious, but realistic. One of these objectives is to deploy the projects within a week of their arrival on site. McDermott says ESS, “put it down, plug it in, fill it with water and heat it up.” Another objective is to increase the energy storage capacity of each shipping container by 20%, from 1.25 MWh to 1.5 MWh.

The company says it will take time to achieve these goals. They will have to overcome supply chain challenges, which have almost doubled their delivery times. They will need to install and field test their units in more challenging terrain and climates. And of course, they’re going to have to build additional facilities.

California recently approved what may be the largest flow battery in the United States – a 60 MWh Vanadium Stream Facility on native lands in California. The battery will be coupled to a microgrid behind the meter with a solar carport.

Form Energy, with its 1MW/150MWh battery product, has signed two agreements – one in minnesotaand more recently an agreement in Georgia which could reach 15MW/1.5GWh.

Add the Inflation Reduction Act into the mix, and McDermott likens it to “rocket fuel”. The long-life market could see continued growth of over 90% per year, especially as ESS products receive a 10% bonus through the domestic content incentive. This will lead to learning curves, price drops, efficiencies, and increased volume.

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