Form Energy gets bulk of US$15 million NY grant for long-duration energy storage projects


Iron-air battery firm Form Energy has received a US$12 million grant from the state of New York for a 1GWh long-duration energy storage project, whilst Ecolectro Inc, PolyJoule Inc and Urban Electric Power received smaller amounts.

The US$12 million will go towards a 10MW/1,000MWh demonstration project that Form Energy will develop, design and build using its iron-air battery materials with project location still to be determined.

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Form has developed a battery chemistry based around the oxidisation, or rust, of iron that can store electrical energy and discharge it at 100+ hours cost-effectively, the company has claimed.

The company is already in the process of deploying two systems of the same size for utility Xcel Energy in Minnesota and Colorado, and started building its gigafactory in West Virginia earlier this year.

The US$15 million funding will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and will see smaller amounts go to the three other companies.

Ecolectro Inc will get just over US$1 million to build prototype electrolyser units using its polymer chemistry and materials that are expected to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen via electrolysis and create a drop-in replacement for current designs. The units will be built in a pilot project with Liberty Utilities in Massena, New York.

PolyJoule Inc also got a nudge over US$1 million to install 167kW/2MWh modular LDES battery energy storage system (BESS) in partnership with Eastern Generation at its Astoria Generating Station located in Queens, New York. The project aims to prove out its PolyJoule Conductive Polymer BESS technology.

Meanwhile, zinc alkaline battery company Urban Electric Power (UEP) will get around US$700,000 to deploy a 100kW/1MWh BESS in Pearl River, which will provide power resilience to end users, peak shaving and demand response services.

On top of the US$15 million, NYSERDA will administer another US$8.15 million programme to support technologies which have yet to be commercialised. Project submissions should ‘advance, develop or field-test hydrogen, electric, chemical, mechanical or thermal-electric storage technologies that will address renewable integration challenges, such as grid congestion, hosting capacity constraints and siting in New York City’, the annoucement said.

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