Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) said it signed an agreement with Oregon-based flow battery manufacturer ESS to deploy 200 MW / 2 GWh of long-duration storage systems over the next five years.
The agreement calls for ESS to deliver a mix of long-duration energy storage (LDES) solutions for integration with the SMUD electric grid from 2023.
SMUD will deploy the LDES systems as part of its 2030 Zero Carbon Plan, which aims to reduce thermal generation and maximize local solar generation.
It said LDES is a key component in SMUD’s decarbonisation plan.
Assembly, operations and maintenance support and project delivery will be in Sacramento. In addition, SMUD and ESS plan to establish a ‘Center of Excellence’ to expand the workforce and knowledge base for LDES technology in partnership with higher education institutions.
The centre will provide advanced LDES technical training, creating a state-wide skilled talent pool to help build and maintain California’s long-duration energy storage resources.
SMUD said its goals are ahead of California’s state-wide zero-carbon target of 2045. The addition of 200MW / 2 GWh of storage, when coupled with renewable energy sources, is equivalent to removing 284,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and will provide enough energy to power 60,000 homes for 10 hours.
ESS iron flow technology is suited for applications that require 4-12 hours of flexible energy capacity, the company said.
ESS said its energy storage is well suited for multiple use cases including utility-scale renewable energy installations, remote solar and storage microgrids, grid load-shifting and peak shaving. It claims its technology has a 25-year lifespan without capacity fade.
ESS uses food-grade, iron, salt, and water for the electrolyte, which it says makes ESS batteries easy to site and safe to operate. Iron flow chemistry does not use minerals like vanadium and lithium, which the company says is less environmentally harmful in materials sourcing and production processes.