Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Battery company emerging Eos Energy Storage receives $2.1Mn from California Energy Commission for battery demo

We have entered into the hydrogen market and I am very interested in the fact that a few months later we start seeing headlines like this. We did not plan it this way but I have to say after 25 some years in the industry I do start to see patterns and many technologies have been around for years. Hydrogen is one of those and I felt the timing was right. To me it is a no brainer. I witnessed hydrogen produced from a solar panel and water years ago. It is a clean burning fuel that can be created at the location needed for use. I have heard all the economic detractors and think they are missing the whole picture. I said this about solar 25 years ago and I am saying this about hydrogen now. I have utilized batteries in many applications over the years and am intimately knowledgeable on their limitations. I predict they will have a 10 year run. When solar really got traction in the market there were numerous solar technologies that jumped up taking in huge investments. All these thin film solar companies are pretty much gone or forgotten. The fact is what was tried and true (silicon) is what is primarily used and if you want to make a bet on solar panels it is primarily how to reduce the cost of making the solar cells. Folks I offer the hypothesis that energy storage will follow the same pattern. We know that hydrogen is a great energy storage method and offers versatility that batteries can never achieve. It has been used for many years (ask NASA) or the hydro dams in Canada that have been producing hydrogen from their excess power using electrolysis and water for many years now. It will be the reduction in cost and enhancing the efficiency. We did it with silicon and we can do it with hydrogen. I am pretty proud that we have engineered a unit that has enhanced the efficiency and eliminated the need to scrub the hydrogen from the oxygen but the fact is that when it gains traction like solar has these young emerging minds will continue to innovate and perfect the technology.
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As part of California’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC), through the California Energy Commission (CEC), Eos Energy Storage was awarded $2.1 million for an advanced battery storage system demonstration. The funding supports development of grid-level advanced energy storage technology solutions.

Eos Energy Storage plans to demonstrate its grid-scale battery system at PG&E’s Smart Grid Lab in San Ramon, California. The Aurora battery system will help to incorporate renewable energy, while reducing peak demand on the grid. For the project, the company is partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E, NYSE: PCG), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab), Stem, and ETM Electromatic (ETM).

“We’ve developed an energy storage solution designed specifically to meet the requirements of California’s utilities and industrial users. At a price of $160 per kilowatt-hour, we believe our batteries will compete with gas peaking plants and copper wire to provide both peak generation and infrastructure benefits,” said Philippe Bouchard, Eos Vice President of Business Development.

The first of these systems, the Aurora 1000|4000, is a containerized DC battery system that can provide 1-MW for four hours.

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