Energy

San Diego County to install a $20 million Zinc-based energy storage battery project

Summary

A San Diego renewable energy service provider, EnerSmart, has signed a $20 million deal with New Jersey-based company Eos Energy, which will see more than 10 zinc-based battery storage facilities. These projects will store approximately 3 megawatts each and will […]

A San Diego renewable energy service provider, EnerSmart, has signed a $20 million deal with New Jersey-based company Eos Energy, which will see more than 10 zinc-based battery storage facilities. These projects will store approximately 3 megawatts each and will each supply electric power to 2000 homes. San Diego will receive seven of these projects, which will be complete by the end of 2020. The proposed sites for the installation are Chula Vista, El Cajon, Imperial Beach, Lakeside, Ramona, and two sites in San Diego.

“If there is a need for more, then we’ll do more,” said EnerSmart managing partner, James Beach. “What makes our projects unique is that because they are 3-megawatt, the energy can go into lower voltage distribution lines, so we are providing voltage support to the local communities,” he added.

The electricity stored in these batteries will go to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).CAISO operates 80 percent of the power grid in the state of California. California administration has set several targets regarding the switch to renewable energy. By 2045, the state plans to have 100 percent of its electricity consumption powered by green energy.

Being a sunny region, California produces a lot of solar energy during the day. Sometimes it is overwhelming, forcing CAISO to tap the excess power to the neighboring state of Arizona or reduce it altogether. Adopting storage systems will store the excess energy for use at night or when the sun isn’t shining.

California Public Utilities Commission seeks to add about 2,100 megawatts of energy storage to the grid by August this year. Currently, the peak demand for electricity is at 26,221 megawatts. Zinc-based batteries have come out strong to offer an alternative for Lithium-ion batteries, which are popular in green energy storage. The batteries, which also power most smartphones, have been faced with a lot of criticism due to overheating.

For instance, a battery installation at an Arizona energy facility exploded, injuring the first responder. Similarly, Tesla’s electric cars have caught fire severally, whose root cause was excessive batteries’ heat. “We are excited to help, and this is a way to make our energy value chain greener,” said Joe Mastrangelo, Eos Energy chief.

According to Mastrangelo, their zinc-based battery systems don’t use the complex heating systems used in lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, they are safer. Another upside with zinc-based batteries is that they can be recycled.

“Our system loves to go from 100 percent down to zero. We could sit at zero for extended periods and not damage the system. And we can discharge anywhere from three to twelve hours, depending on the use-case,” added Mastrangelo.

One downside of battery storage systems is the relatively expensive cost per kilowatt-hour. Currently, the price the lowest price is $400 per kilowatt-hour, according to a report by Brattle Group, an energy consultancy firm. EnerSmart estimates the cost per kilowatt-hour to come down to $300 after this project is complete. “We will be the ones absorbing that,” said Beach.

https://newsinpaphos.com/
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