Battery startup claims long-duration breakthrough
The startup Form Energy says it has developed cost-effective battery chemistry for long-duration storage using abundantly available iron.
Why it matters: Batteries that can hold and discharge energy for many hours or days are key to enabling very high levels of intermittent renewable energy penetration on power grids.
Driving the news: "Form Energy’s first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion," Form said.
What's next: Via the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news in a deeply reported behind-the-scenes feature, reports that Form says its product will be ready for commercial deployment in 2025.
The big picture: Various investors of the company based in Somerville, Massachusetts include Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Italian oil giant Eni and Energy Impact Partners.
- Form yesterday announced a $200 million series D funding round led by metals giant ArcelorMittal.
- The companies are "working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems," Form said.
Catch up fast: The Energy Department last week unveiled an initiative aimed at cutting the costs for grid-scale, long-duration energy storage by 90% within this decade.
- Companies are developing competing battery chemistries but also other technologies like thermal systems using molten salts and other materials, compressed air and several other concepts.
What they're saying: "There is a Cambrian explosion of new storage technologies and in a Darwinian sense, they are not all going to survive. But the prize is huge both for investors and for society," clean energy expert Ramez Naam tells the WSJ.