Fluidic Energy will install its zinc-air energy storage system at a home in Scottsdale, Ariz. It’s a first for the company in North America even though it’s based in Arizona and has deployed more than 75,000 batteries across the world. The new battery system will be energized by both a solar array at the home and the grid, offsetting demand during peak hours.
Energy storage is becoming a bigger industry as battery prices come down and solar power use continues to go up. It will help offset demand costs while helping to stabilize the grid. Already California has mandated that utilities in the state must start using energy storage. Elsewhere, like New York, residential energy storage with solar is being tested on a fairly large scale, to determine its impact on the grid.
The unit is being installed at the home of Tom Harris, President of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association. Its performance will be monitored around the clock with the company’s monitoring system, Fluidic IQ, to learn from and evaluate the system’s performance at the house and on the grid. The energy system is designed to store electricity when costs are lowest and dispatch electricity when rates are at their highest during the afternoon and early evening, helping to offset the end user’s energy costs further.
"Fluidic's resilient energy storage systems are field proven to outperform the incumbents in cost, safety and reliability and our team is very excited to be a part of Arizona's clean energy future by empowering the industry to store energy and redistribute it to the consumer when and how they need it," said Steve Scharnhorst, CEO of Fluidic Energy.
The battery promises energy costs of less than $100 per kilowatt hour with a battery life four times longer than a lead-acid battery. In addition, the company said that the battery’s recyclable, earth-abundant materials cost 15 times less to produce than lithium-ion batteries and 5 times less to produce than lead-acid batteries.
Arizona Corporation Commissioner Andy Tobin, who has spearheaded a push for solar and storage systems in Arizona, toured the new system. "As energy storage continues to develop, I hope we can get to a point where the sun never truly sets in Arizona," Tobin said. "Our state's energy future is undeniably tied to maximizing the use of abundant sunshine here, both day and night, through residential- and utility-scale batteries. This project reflects a clear vision of Arizona being one of America's energy storage leaders.”
The system is being funded by Arizona Public Services’ Solar Innovation Study-125 program (SIS-125). The program examines how rooftop solar is integrated with battery storage.
"Our team is thrilled to be launching our first North American unit and couldn't be more proud that our home state, alongside the vision and leadership of Commissioner Tobin and APS, is setting an example for the rest of the country to follow," said Scharnhorst.Tweet