Organic flow battery firm CMBlu wins 5MW project order from SRP in Arizona

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Europe-based organic flow battery company CMBlu has won its second US project, a 5MW, 10-hour duration pilot system with Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP).

SRP selected CMBlu for the project after issuing a request for long-duration storage project proposals. The Alzenau, Germany-based firm will build, own and operate the project for SRP at the utility’s Copper Crossing Energy and Research Center in Florence, Arizona.

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Copper Crossing is a new power plant project combining a gas plant in phase one, followed by a 55MW solar PV plant in phase two with CMBlu’s long-duration energy storage (LDES) project coming in phase three.

Construction on the system, which will have an implied energy storage capacity of 50MWh, will start in early 2025 to be come operational by December that year. It will primarily shift solar generation from the daytime towards the evening as production begins to tail off.

CMBlu’s ‘Organic SolidFlow’ battery technology uses a “non-flammable proprietary mixture of solid electrolyte and water-based electrolytes with high energy density and performance”, whereas most flow battery companies use vanadium for their electrolyte.

The company said its systems are fully recyclable, free of rare metals and housed inside buildings, and can store and deliver energy for 2-3 times longer per cycle than lithium-ion, which is now often being deployed for four-hour durations, particularly in Western US states like Arizona and California.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-profit which counts utilities as its members, will support performance monitoring of the project and help validate the real-world performance of the technology.

It is CMBlu’s second US project after announcing one in February with utility WEC in Wisconsin, but is the first at significant scale with the WEC project totalling 1-2MWh. That was one month after it launched its US subsidiary to target the market, citing the Inflation Reduction Act’s incentives for energy storage. Closer to home, the company deployed its first commercial project in July, in eastern Austria.

Our publisher Solar Media is hosting the 10th Solar and Storage Finance USA conference, 7-8 November 2023 at the New Yorker Hotel, New York. Topics ranging from the Inflation Reduction Act to optimising asset revenues, the financing landscape in 2023 and much more will be discussed. See the official site for more details.

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