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Iron-based flow battery firm ESS Inc. boosts board and launches large-scale systems

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 10:33 -- Vic
Raffi Garabedian

Iron-based flow battery firm ESS Inc. has added solar renewable energy industry veteran Raffi Garabedian to its board of directors. 

Prior to joining the ESS board, Garabedian served as First Solar’s chief technology officer from 2012 to last year. Garabedian oversaw the solar firm’s advanced research and development, including cadmium telluride technology development.

Preceding First Solar, Garabedian spent more than 15 years in the semiconductor and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) industries.

Garabedian (pictured) said: “Having worked with utility-scale solar for much of my career, I know first-hand the need for long-duration storage to support deployment of large renewable resources.”

The announcement comes in the same week ESS Inc. launched its utility-scale Energy Center storage system, sized to the specific needs of front-side-of-the-meter use cases and larger commercial and industrial facilities. 

The systems can be configured in different power capacities, starting at 3MW, with energy durations ranging from six to 16 hours, to support large-scale renewable energy projects, provide transmission and distribution-level services, and for utility peaker plant replacement applications.

Renewables firm Enertis Solar has worked with ESS on optimising the overall design of the Energy Center solution.

Mark Burton, senior engineer for energy storage at Enertis Solar, said: “As we are seeing market requirements for utility-scale energy storage moving from traditional two- to four-hour lithium-ion-based capability to longer eight- to 12-hour durations, that emphasise flexibility and long life, it is clear that proven and practical flow batteries offer key design and cost advantages over lithium.”

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