California funds hybrid battery storage project in first grant from US$380 million long duration package


The US state of California is providing US$31 million for a long duration energy storage project combining vanadium flow and zinc-hybrid batteries, the first grant from a US$380 million package.

The funding is going to microgrid developer Indian Energy LLC for a project with a 60MWh long duration energy storage system providing backup power to sustain critical operations for the Viejas Tribe of Kumeyaay Indians in the event of a grid emergency. The Tribe is based in Southern California.

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The system will combine a 10MWh vanadium redox flow battery from Invinity Energy Systems and zinc hybrid cathode batteries in a hybrid module arrangement, as well as distributed solar resources, according to the a California Energy Commission document.

The funding decision was first announced by Invinity Energy Systems’ a few weeks ago, as reported by at the time. The firm will supply 44 Invinity VS3 batteries at the Viejas Resort & Casino near San Diego, California, and expects to ship the first product units to the site within H1 2023.

The provider for the zinc-based batteries has not been revealed. There are a handful of energy storage companies which fit the description, the most well-known being Eos Energy Enterprises which recently moved forward with a Department of Energy loan application for its ramp-up of US manufacturing.

Others include ZincFive, Zinc8, Salient Energy, Urban Electric Power, e-Zinc, Redflow, Enzinc, Enerpoly, ZAF Energy Systems, AEsir Technologies, Inc. and Imprint Energy, while Chinese company WeView recently raised nearly US$60 million to commercialise zinc-iron flow battery technology.

The funding is the first to come from the California state budget’s US$380 million support package for long duration energy storage projects, announced in January this year. Some US$140 million will be provided in fiscal year 2022-23 with the remaining US$240 million in 2023-24.

Invinity also provided the vanadium flow battery for another major hybrid battery storage project, the Energy Superhub Oxford in the UK.

The project partners for Indian Energy’s microgrid will provide more details in a press event tomorrow (3 November).’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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