A framework agreement for the deployment of 2GWh of iron electrolyte flow batteries has been signed between manufacturer ESS Inc and SB Energy, the clean energy arm of Japanese telecoms giant Softbank.
Softbank Group’s SB Energy subsidiary is among investors that contributed to a successful US$30 million Series C funding round for ESS Inc, a US-headquartered manufacturer of iron flow batteries that use a proprietary saltwater electrolyte.
Following announcements from various manufacturers of deployments and partnerships in new territories, the latest wave of flow battery news includes an agreement that could put batteries in space for mission critical applications at the likes of NASA and the International Space Station.
First developed by NASA, flow batteries are a potential answer to storing solar – and wind – for eight to 10 hours, far beyond what is commonly achieved today with lithium-ion. In the first of a two-part special report, Andy Colthorpe learns what the flow battery industry faces in the fight for commercialisation.
ESS Inc, among several companies looking to commercialise a flow battery energy storage technology, has netted US$13 million in a Series B funding round from investors that include global chemical company BASF.