Consumers Energy selects ESS for Iron Flow Batteries to support Solar-Storage Microgrid in Michigan

Nov. 10, 2022
ESS Energy Warehouse will be paired with solar panels for an on-site microgrid powering a gas compression facility

Michigan-based utility Consumers Energy has signed up energy storage provider ESS Inc. to deliver its long-duration iron flow battery alternative for a microgrid planned to power a gas compression facility.

The utility and ESS say this is the first time an iron-flow battery array will be used to support a gas compression plant. Consumers Energy is working to meet Michigan state goals of 1,000 MW worth of energy storage capacity by 2025.

Consumers Energy serves millions of electric and gas customers in the region. ESS’ Energy Warehouse technology is intended for commercial, industrial and utility customers to pair with solar power and cut emissions.

“ESS is proud to provide our safe and non-toxic battery storage system to a leading utility provider in the Midwest serving millions of customers,” said Hugh McDermott, SVP of business development and sales at ESS Inc. “We are especially pleased to have our first project for Consumers Energy be a solar-plus-storage microgrid – a hugely beneficial solution for utilities and commercial/industrial customers who need sustainable and cost-effective energy resilience solutions.”

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Most utility-scale and C&I energy storage batteries use lithium ion as the chemistry. The ESS Energy Warehouse batteries include iron, salt and water as the electrolyte. The iron flow technology reportedly can offer up to 12 hours of energy.

Earlier this month, Burbank Water and Power announced it had selected ESS for a 75-kW/500-kWh Energy Warehouse to be installed and connected to a 265-kW solar array at the BWP campus.

The energy storage firm also has contracted to contribute to microgrid projects with Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas & Electric and Portland General Electric on the West Coast. ESS also announced a partnership with Energy Storage Industries in Oceania last month.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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