Back in November, we alerted you to a potentially significant development in non-lithium long-duration storage. One of the companies was Form Energy, which based its battery on oxidizing and reducing iron. Oxidized iron is, of course, also known as rust. Clearly, iron is a lot cheaper and more abundant than lithium. An iron-air battery was an old idea, but Form was touting a 100X improvement in cycle life with an initial 1 MW product that could hold 150 MWh of energy. That put it squarely in the “desirable” range as a commercial product. This first system is going to Great River Energy in Minnesota but has not yet been installed.
Now Form has signed a contract for two 10 MW, 1,000 MWh systems with XCEL Energy and a 15 MW system with a 1500 MWh capacity with Georgia Power. As one commenter noted, the Georgia Power system would hold more MWh than all the other utility storage systems installed in the country to date.
Form’s battery releases energy slowly, so it is not really a technology ideal for EVs. But slow discharge is perfect for long-duration applications.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStart's Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.