Australian redox flow battery manufacturer Redflow is building one of the world’s largest zinc-based battery energy storage systems in the US after signing a multi-million dollar contract with the California Energy Commission.
Brisbane-based battery maker Redflow is building a 20MWh zinc-based battery energy storage system as part of a major solar and storage project planned for Northern California after receiving A$18 million ($12 million) in funding from the California Energy Commission.
A 20 MWh battery energy storage system will be paired with a 5 MW solar array as part of a $50 million renewable energy microgrid that will provide electricity for the Nomlaki Band of Indians in Northern California.
Redflow said it will supply, oversee the installation and help commission and maintain 2,000 of its 10kWh 48V ZBM3 batteries in modular energy enclosures. Deliveries of the 200kWh capsules manufactured at Redflow’s Thai factory are expected to begin later this year, with the system expected to be practically completed in 2025.
Redflow President and CEO Tim Harris said the 20MWh system is the company’s largest single battery sales and deployment to date and is an important step in the company’s expansion plans into the US market.
“This 20MWh project is one of many planned opportunities and represents the start of the next phase of our growth strategy and reinforces our focus on large systems in the US and Australia,” he said. “The market for long-term energy storage solutions is rapidly accelerating, and this project reinforces Redflow’s presence in California, leading the development and support of non-lithium technology to achieve its net zero goals.”
California, which is targeting more than 400% clean energy growth over the next two decades, is expected to need 45 GW to 55 GW of long-term energy storage by 2045 to support grid stability and the state’s clean energy transition goals.
Harris said the new microgrid project is a follow-up to a 2 MWh system Redflow installed in California in 2022 with biowaste technology company Anaergia, which has been operating successfully for more than a year.
Harris said Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow technology is capable of providing up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity for both commercial and utility energy storage applications.
“For this project, Redflow’s battery system is designed to charge from the sun and discharge throughout the rest of the day, reducing demand on the grid and improving Paskenta Rancheria’s energy security,” he said.
The project is funded by the California Energy Commission’s Long-Term Energy Storage Grant Program, which supports the development of non-lithium technologies to help the state meet its net zero goals.
Faraday Microgrids, a California developer and contractor that has deployed several microgrid projects funded by the California Energy Commission, is the grantee and project manager and will purchase the battery system from Redflow.
David Bliss, CEO of Faraday Microgrids, said the “durability, operational performance and safety” of Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow battery technology will play a key role in providing greater “energy sovereignty” to both California and the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.
“Redflow’s team strength, innovative approach to flow technology and strong track record of successful deployments are a welcome addition to our microgrid portfolio,” he said.
Faraday expects the final supply agreement to be formalized and the commencement notice to be sent to Redflow in late July 2023.