Grid-scale Iron-Chromium Redox Flow Battery dedicated in California

May 27, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

The California Energy Commission joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to dedicate the first grid-scale iron-chromium redox flow battery from EnerVault Corp. EnerVault designed and manufactured the long-duration, grid-scale energy storage system in Silicon Valley with a combination of private funding and research and development grants from the DOE and the Energy Commission. Long-duration energy storage systems are emerging as the lynchpin to efficient operations for resilient grids as aging conventional power plants are replaced by higher levels of solar and wind. Interconnected to the distribution grid, EnerVault Turlock is co-located with a dual-axis tracking solar photovoltaic system in an almond orchard in California's Central Valley.

“With the support of DOE, the Energy Commission, our technical team and investors, EnerVault’s long-duration, grid-scale energy storage systems are ready to participate in California’s ground-breaking energy storage market in less than five years from our first round of funding,” said Jim Pape, EnerVault CEO. “EnerVault Turlock will demonstrate that our proprietary technology is inherently safe, reliable and cost effective. Using commodity equipment and materials, EnerVault can manufacture large scale systems quickly: no gigafactory required.”

“The EnerVault Turlock project solidifies California’s position as an incubator of companies that attract investment, and demonstrates the value of public-sector investments in energy research and development,” said Robert B. Weisenmiller, chair of the Energy Commission. “This storage technology will help integrate renewable energy and improve the reliability of California’s evolving electricity system. Federal and State investments were critical to taking this project from laboratory prototypes to community-scale, energy storage system in less than five years.”

“The EnerVault Turlock system demonstrates the viability of iron-chromium redox flow batteries at the grid-scale,” said Imre Gyuk, DOE Energy Storage Program Manager. “Long-duration energy storage, like EnerVault’s, is the lynchpin to grid stability as we achieve high penetration of renewable energy. We are very proud of EnerVault’s success as a member of our DOE ARRA Storage Demonstration Program as it is the first battery of its class of grantees to reach field commissioning.”

“Thanks to the support of my legislative colleagues and Governor Jerry Brown, California is leading the redesign of our electricity system, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and incorporating efficiency, renewables, and distributed and customer-sited resources,” said Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, author of AB 2514. “With direction from the legislature, the CPUC is now working with our utilities to incorporate a wide range of energy storage capabilities into the grid. I congratulate EnerVault Turlock as an innovative example of long-duration, grid-scale energy storage ready to enter our new energy storage marketplace.”

“The unique characteristics of storage devices mean they can respond quickly to supply energy to the grid when needed or store it for later use,” said Karen Edson, Vice President at the California Independent System Operator. “Storage is one of the most important emerging technologies for managing electricity production and delivery in the future, and creating a grid that is modern, flexible and can use renewable resources efficiently and effectively.”

“Energy storage has the potential to be a game changer for our electric grid, and our energy storage procurement proceeding aims to achieve improved grid optimization, integration of renewable energy, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050,” said Paul Clanon, Executive Director of the California Public Utilities Commission. “California’s multi-year energy storage procurement target of 1,325 megawatts is specifically designed to encourage the scaling of new innovative technologies and reduce costs to ratepayers. We commend EnerVault for its success and welcome innovative technologies to bid into California’s energy storage marketplace.”