Salient Energy is developing novel zinc-ion batteries as an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries, and the California Energy Commission (CEC) is into it, awarding a grant worth over $1.5 million to support the design and assembly of its zinc-ion residential energy storage systems.
Salient will utilize the grant funding to open an office and engineering facility in Oakland, Calif., which will commence in Q2 2021. The grant funding will also allow Salient to hire a team of engineers to design and assemble zinc-ion residential energy storage systems that offer an alternative to lithium-ion.
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In addition to the funding, the CEC’s leading industry experts will advise the Company throughout the project in an effort to ensure its success. As a leader in energy storage, the State of California has outpaced the rest of the U.S. with nearly 300 utility-scale storage projects. To put this in perspective, New York and Massachusetts are a distant second with around 40 each.
“We are excited that the CEC has recognized the potential of our zinc-ion battery technology and given us the opportunity to demonstrate its value for California residents,” said Ryan Brown, CEO and co-founder of Salient Energy. “We’ve come a long way in showing that the zinc-ion battery is a safe and scalable alternative to lithium-ion. Through this work with the CEC, we will be able to prove its commercial maturity.”
At the new CEC-funded facility, Salient will develop, field test, and validate its zinc-ion battery prototype applications for residential storage systems. The company’s goal through this project is to advance the technology from a pre-commercial stage to the technology demonstration stage where it can then be validated and scaled. Once deemed commercially viable, Salient’s zinc-ion energy storage solutions will accelerate the adoption and deployment of non-lithium-ion energy storage in California and will help strive to meet the State’s aggressive energy goals of replacing fossil fuel powered backup generators.
“Through its EPIC research program, the CEC is pleased to support efforts, like Salient Energy’s, to advance zinc-ion battery and other storage technologies,” said CEC Vice Chair Janea Scott. “Diversifying our storage technology options will help ensure grid reliability and allow for greater integration of the state’s vast renewable resources as California moves toward a clean energy future.”
— Solar Builder magazine