The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market

Breakthrough Energy to provide US$20 million grant to Xcel for 100-hour iron-air battery projects


Utility Xcel Energy has received a US$20 million grant commitment from VC firm Breakthrough Energy for projects using Form Energy’s iron-air battery, while a sodium ion battery firm has secured bridge financing.

The grant from Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, part of Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy, would go towards two 100-hour duration energy storage projects being deployed by Xcel Energy.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Enjoy 12 months of exclusive analysis

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Annual digital subscription to the PV Tech Power journal
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Two projects using Form Energy’s iron-air battery, totalling 10MW/1,000MWh each, will receive US$10 million subject to satisfying certain funding conditions.

The projects, announced in January, will be deployed at two retiring coal stations: Sherburne County Generating Station in Becker, Minnesota, and the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo, Colorado. Xcel is headquartered in Minnesota.

In addition to the grant funding, Xcel intends to use the tax credit incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act to further lower the cost of the iron-air battery projects, which are expected to come online in 2025.

Their total cost has not been revealed but the company has previously claimed its tech can store and dispatch energy up to 10 times more cheaply than lithium-ion, although CEO Mateo Jaramillo has also said it “is not a replacement for lithium-ion”. has asked Xcel Energy for more details on how much of total project cost the grant will cover, and how the remainder would be financed, and will update this article in due course.

Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy, said: “Innovative long-duration energy storage technologies are crucial to achieving 100% carbon-free electricity. This Catalyst grant will accelerate adoption of this promising new technology, which allows us to provide higher percentages of renewable energy while still providing affordable electric service to our customers.”

The projects will allow Xcel to integrate more renewable energy into the grid as it retires all its coal plants by 2030.

Form Energy is investing US$760 million into a plant to produce its battery technology, which oxidises metallic iron to discharge and converts it back into iron to charge.

Sweden-based sodium-ion firm Altris raises US$5 million bridge financing

Sodium-ion technology is often touted as the next battery technology to achieve widespread commercialisation. It is much less energy-dense than lithium-ion but its much cheaper cost of raw materials and its ability to ‘drop in’ to existing lithium-ion manufacturing processes have made it the chemistry of choice for companies across the globe.

Altris has secured 50 million SEK (US$5 million) in bridge financing from its current owners, and appointed a new CEO and CFO in Björn Mårlid and Christer Bergquist, respectively.

The financing will go towards completing its sodium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Uppsala, Sweden, and follows on from a US$10 million Series A in 2022. A Series B is planned for 2023.

Read Next

June 20, 2024
Recurrent Energy has closed US$513 million financing on a battery storage project in Arizona, US, which has a 20-year utility tolling agreement in place.
June 19, 2024
NTPC, India’s biggest electric power utility with a 76GW generation fleet, has opened a tender for a long-duration energy storage (LDES) flow battery project.
June 18, 2024
Octopus Energy’s head of flexibility discussed its tolling deal with Gresham House for nearly 1GWh of BESS projects, including how they will fit into its VPP portfolio and whether their energy market activity could change under its control.
June 14, 2024
Some €17.9 million (US$19 million) in grants will be made available for ‘medium size’ distributed-scale energy storage projects projects in Austria.
June 13, 2024
US$5 million will be made available for long-duration energy storage (LDES) projects via a competitive solicitation run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Most Popular

Email Newsletter