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Form Energy to deploy 100-hr iron-air battery system at Xcel's coal plants in US

Image for representation purposes only. Source: Form Energy

American energy storage systems company Form Energy has recently announced its definitive agreements with utility firm Xcel Energy to deploy its iron-air battery systems at two of latter's retiring coal plant sites. 

Xcel Energy–Minnesota will deploy a 10 MW / 1,000 MWh multi-day storage system at the Sherburne County Generating Station in Becker, Minnesota. While Xcel Energy–Colorado will deploy a 10 MW / 1,000 MWh multi-day storage system at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo, Colorado. 

Both the projects are expected to come online as early as 2025 and are subject to regulatory approvals in their respective states. The storage technology is said to help Xcel Energy to integrate more low-cost, renewable energy into its system, and maintain reliability as it retires the coal plants for renewable energy transition. 

Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President and CEO of Xcel Energy, said, "We're on track to reduce our electric system carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030 and to deliver carbon-free electricity by 2050. As we build more renewable energy into our systems, our partnership with Form Energy opens the door to significantly improve how we deliver carbon-free energy so that we can continue to provide reliable and affordable electric service to our customers well into the future."

Form Energy and Xcel Energy collaborated on extensive modeling with 'Formware', Form Energy's next-generation investment and operational modeling tool for power grids. This modeling helped Xcel Energy validate how Form's multi-day storage will enhance Xcel Energy's ability to reliably and cost-effectively integrate large amounts of wind energy and other renewable resources on its system, according to the companies. 

Additionally, this analysis demonstrated that Form Energy's 100-hour iron-air battery technology will strengthen the grid against normal day-to-day, week-to-week, and season-to-season weather variability, in addition to extreme weather events including severe winter storms and polar vortex events, they add. 

Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, commented on the development. "Xcel Energy operates across some of the richest wind-resource areas in North America. We're very pleased to work with the Xcel Energy team to maximize use of its renewable generation by providing a technology solution that will ensure their customers benefit from reliable and cost-effective service year-round". 

He further added, "This partnership highlights Xcel Energy's commitment to ensuring grid resiliency and reliability, energy security, and access to low-cost clean energy when and where it is needed – every day of the year."

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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