Form Energy, a new technology company founded in 2017 and funded by ArcelorMittal to develop long-duration battery systems, has introduced its first commercial product, 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 batteries.
Lithium-ion battery prices dropped 89% to $137/kWh in 2020 and average prices will be close to $100/kWh by 2023, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).
Many companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, JPMorgan and others are pursuing ambitious 100% renewable energy goals. However, even as solar and wind costs continue to decline, a key challenge with achieving these goals is the intermittency of wind and solar affecting reliability, and energy storage is a central part of the solution.
Most lithium-ion battery storage products on the market today can store energy for hours and are still relatively expensive. A fully renewable grid needs larger storage systems to address solar and wind variability, especially during extreme weather events.
Form Energy is working with ArcelorMittal on the development of iron materials for Form’s battery systems. The materials will be sourced domestically and manufactured for the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy.
Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said, “We conducted a broad review of available technologies and have reinvented the iron-air battery to optimize it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages.”
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