CellCube and G&W launch US microgrid solution with 2MW/8MWh project in Illinois


Vanadium redox flow battery company CellCube and power electronics company G&W Electric have launched a microgrid solution for the US market, starting with a project at the latter’s HQ in Illinois, US.

CellCube (official name Enerox GmbH) and G&W Electric have signed a partnership agreement to offer a new and integrated microgrid solution to the US market. G&W Electric has added CellCube’s Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFBs) as a key technology to its microgrid solution portfolio and has become a ‘Value Added Reseller’ for CellCube’s energy storage systems.

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The partnership has been initiated through a microgrid project G&E Electric has built at its own headquarters in Bolingbrook, Illinois, with a bi-facial solar PV array of 6,000 panels coupled to a 2MW/8MWh system provided by CellCube.

G&W began work on the project in August 2021 which also includes a 1.3MVA flywheel. Energy-Storage.news previously reported that CellCube may have been the provider of the flow battery solution for the project and yesterday’s announcement confirmed it.

CEO Alexander Schoenfeldt told Energy-Storage.news: “Commercial & industrial customers are recognising that longer durations support their need better to cover the numerous peaks over the day instead of using a one- or two-hour battery. In addition, they have an increased appetite to capitalise on the volatility in the market by capturing those peak prices and increase their own project IRR – longer duration storage is then a critical path.”

The microgrid will cover multiple use cases including ‘islanding’ capability, peak load shaving, sub cycle backup power for critical asset protection and will actively participate in utility Commonwealth Edison’s demand response program by isolating itself from the grid to help reduce peak load demand.

It will also participate in the ancillary service and energy trading markets run by grid operator PJM, which covers a handful of states in the eastern US. It will provide Frequency Regulation through PJM Interconnection, which helps ensure the grid remains stable at 60Hz.

The 2MW/8MWh VRFB is also capable of operating at up to 150% of its nominal power (so 3MW) for two hours to catch peak power prices in the PJM energy market.

G&W launched the project after its operations were completely shut down due to grid outages a few years ago.

“Power outages in some regions in the US are more likely than in central Europe, and big industrial companies want a solution for that. A resilient microgrid for multiple hours saves them a couple of hundred thousand in each case of an outage or even a flicker taking place,” Schoenfeldt said.

John Mueller, chairman and owner of G&W Electric said: “CellCube’s long duration battery technology unlocks huge value for G&W Electric with the lowest total lifecycle cost of any technology in the market. For us, it is an obvious step to partner with the market leader of Long-Duration Energy Storage.”

The Bolinbrook project and partnership with G&W is a good guide to CellCube’s short-term target market while utility-scale projects will come later, as Schoenfeldt explained:

“Taking into account the limitations in the supply chain we are looking into the microgrid market demand initially while preparing for large front-of-meter projects in the next years.”

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