Oregon Energy Storage Company ESS Inc., has been commissioned to deliver a new form of battery for a project in Spain. The contract covers 17 of ESS’s long-term storage systems for iron flow batteries for a hybrid project in Spain.
This contract negotiates ESS for the supply of energy storage system to support a solar farm under construction. The innovative ESS system will have a combined capacity of 8 MWh to ensure the resilience of the local electricity grid.
“We are 100% committed to energy storage as an essential complement to our expanding portfolio of renewable energy projects,” said Pasquale Salza, Head of Long-Term Storage and Hybrid Systems for Enel Green Power. “With this project, we will evaluate and validate the ESS flow batteries we have chosen because of their right combination of long-lasting capacity, long-lasting performance, environmental sustainability and safe operation.”
The contract will be signed in cooperation with the global system company Loccioni and the engineering company Enertis.
How does an iron battery work?
According to ESS, their iron battery uses iron, salt and water for the electrolyte to store energy for future use. Liquid electrolytes are circulated to charge and dilute electrons through a process called redox reduction.
The word “redox” is a contraction of the words “reduction”, which represents the gain of electrons and “oxidation” or loss of electrons.
According to the ESS, their system “uses the same electrolyte on both the negative and positive sides of the equation, eliminating cross-contamination and degradation. Therefore, ESS chemistry remains stable for an unlimited number of deep-cycle charge and discharge cycles.”
The technology, of course, is patented and comes with its own control system. It also relieves the need for a series of fixed cells or modules, which means that it has significantly improved energy storage capacity and is highly scalable.
This combination helps reduce the risk of fire or explosion from the batteries – which is nice.
Iron batteries are clean, reliable and cost-effective in the long run, according to the ESS. While ordinary conventional chemical batteries, such as lithium-ion, can last up to 7 or 10 years, the iron battery should easily last 20 years or more. Not only that, but it will not deteriorate in its capacity throughout its life.
This technology is also very sustainable, as it does not rely on the use of rare earth elements such as vanadium or lithium. Both, especially the latter, have some very dubious methods of supply and refining, which can be very harmful to the environment (and people).
In the past, ESS has contracted to supply their energy storage system for other projects in Pennsylvania, Patagonia and Germany, among others.
All good news for ESS. Moreover, as announced earlier this month, the company is acquiring special purpose vehicles ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. announced that it was merging with ESS to create a publicly traded company.
However, the outcome of this transaction requires approval from shareholders and regulators.