Form Energy has announced it is ready to commercialise a new class of cost-effective, multi-day energy storage systems, using iron-air batteries.
The move follows a broad review of available technologies which led to the development of the firm's iron-air battery for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid.
The active ingredients of the system are iron, water and air.
The firm claims its rechargeable iron-air battery is capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 10% the cost of lithium-ion.
The basic principle of operation is reversible rusting, a concept that was developed in the 1970s by Westinghouse for electric vehicle propulsion.
Each individual battery is about the size of a washing machine and batteries can be grouped together to meet the local needs for energy.
For scale, in its least dense configuration, a one-megawatt system requires about an acre of land— higher density configurations can achieve >3MW/acre.
The front-of-the-meter battery can be used continuously over a multi-day period and will enable a reliable, secure, and fully renewable electric grid even during times of extreme weather, grid outages or periods of low renewable generation.
The first installation, a pilot project with Great River Energy in Cambridge, Minnesota, is due to go online in 2023, with wider deployment the following year.
Series D financing of $200 million was led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb™ innovation fund.
Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials, which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form's battery systems.
Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited.