May 14, 2020: Form Energy announced on May 11 it had signed a contract to deploy a 1MW/150MWh pilot project — the longest duration energy storage of its kind and with the potential to be a game-changer for the electrical industry — to be located in Cambridge, Minnesota in the US.
Form Energy says it will use an unspecified “aqueous air battery system” to provide the duration. Typical lithium ion battery storage systems provide two to four hours of storage compared to Form’s 150 hours of storage.
“Long-duration energy storage solutions will play an entirely different role in a clean electricity system than the conventional battery storage systems being deployed at scale today,” says Jesse Jenkins, an assistant professor at Princeton University in the US.
“A true low-cost, long-duration energy storage solution that can sustain output for days, would fill gaps in wind and solar energy production that would otherwise require firing up a fossil-fuelled power plant. A technology like that could make a reliable, affordable 100% renewable electricity system a real possibility.”
“This duration allows for a fundamentally new reliability function to be provided to the grid from storage, one historically only available from thermal generation resources,” says a Form Energy spokesperson. “Our aqueous air battery system leverages some of the safest, cheapest, most abundant materials on the planet and offers a clear path to transformationally low-cost, long-duration energy storage.”
This system will be the first commercial deployment of Form Energy’s proprietary long-duration energy storage system.
“Commercially viable long-duration storage could increase reliability by ensuring that the power generated by renewable energy is available at all hours,” says Great River Energy chief power supply officer Jon Brekke. “Such storage could be particularly important during extreme weather conditions that last several days. Long-duration storage also provides an excellent hedge against volatile energy prices.”
Form Energy is a Massachusetts-based company, founded in 2017, developing low-cost, long-duration energy storage for the grid. Great River Energy is Minnesota’s second largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.