Eos Energy Storage, a startup focussed on energy storage technology announced that its zinc-air battery chemistry can provide grid-scale energy storage at unprecedented low costs. Eos is all set to test with its first utility pilot partner Consolidated Edison whcih will be using a $250,000 NYSERDA state grant to deploy the battery on New York City’s grid.
It will be used to test the battery’s ability to do things like assist congested power corridors during grid peaks, or balance out grid voltage fluctuations, to “reduce customer costs, defer utility infrastructure upgrades and enhance power quality and reliability. All of these early pilot tests, in their turn, are aimed at supporting the eventual commercial launch of a 1-megawatt, 6-megawatt-hour battery called the Eos Aurora.
“Energy storage is no longer an idea and a theory — it’s actually a practical reality,” said Steve Hellman, Eos’s president. “You’re seeing a lot of commercial activity in the energy storage sector.”
The economic benefits of such technology are huge, utilities can buy power from centralized plants during off-peak hours, when it is cheaper, and use it to feed the grid at peak hours when it is typically more expensive. This will also help to relieve congestion on some transmission lines, reducing strain and the need to spend money upgrading or repairing them. The batteries also can help to integrate renewable sources like solar and wind into the power grid, smoothing out intermittent production.
Eos claims its batteries can achieve 75 percent round-trip efficiency, along with a 10,000-cycle, or 30-year, lifetime. Eos is targeting a total system cost of $1,000 per kilowatt, or $160 per kilowatt-hour of energy storage for its six-hour system. Zinc is much cheaper than lithium, at approximately $2 a kilogram, with global reserves of 1.9 billion tons and 30 million tons a year in production.