ESS Commissions first iron flow battery deployment for Sacramento Municipal Utility District

ESS Tech, Inc. (ESS), specialising in the manufacture of long-duration energy storage systems (LDES) for commercial and utility-scale applications, have announced it has completed commissioning fo six Energy Warehouse systems delivered to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
ESS Commissions first iron flow battery deployment for Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Courtesy of Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

The six Energy Warehouse systems represent the first delivery under a framework agreement first announced in September 2022. Under that agreement, ESS will deliver up to 200 megawatts (MW)/2 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of iron flow LDES systems to SMUD. Once fully operational and paired with renewable energy, 2 GWh of iron flow battery systems are expected to enable the elimination of approximately 284,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year from SMUD’s system.

With the arrival of the units, SMUD prepares for the next phases of integrating the system into its expansive clean power portfolio. Once operational, SMUD will also train staff on utility-scale applications and clean energy dispatch of long-duration battery systems.

ESS technology directly supports the utility’s ambitious 2030 Clean Energy Vision by enabling increased utilisation of renewable energy, providing neighborhood resiliency, and promoting social justice and equity with safe and sustainable energy storage infrastructure and reduced emissions.

“SMUD is on a bold journey to eliminate all carbon emissions from our power supply by 2030 without compromising our world class reliability and rates that are consistently among the lowest in California” said Paul Lau, CEO & General Manager of SMUD. “We’re excited to embrace cutting-edge technologies, including through our partnership with ESS, to deliver and grow long-duration energy storage. In addition to accelerating our transition to a clean energy future, this partnership and technology will spur economic development, equitable access to clean energy and a brighter future for the entire Sacramento region.”

With up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity, ESS technology provides cost-effective, resilient and sustainable energy storage well-suited to multiple use cases including utility-scale renewable energy installations, solar + storage microgrids, grid load-shifting and peak shaving, and other ancillary grid services. ESS systems are safe and sustainable and can be deployed in populated areas without the risks associated with other storage technologies. 

“The need to decarbonise our energy system and ensure resilient, reliable sources of energy becomes more apparent every day” added Eric Dresselhuys, CEO of ESS. “SMUD’s leadership is setting an example for utilities worldwide to embrace energy storage for a clean, resilient and equitable energy future. The commissioning of these systems marks an important milestone in our partnership with SMUD. We look forward to delivering and commissioning additional long-duration energy storage systems to enable deep decarbonisation and provide sustainable economic opportunity in the greater Sacramento region.” 

In addition to deploying critical energy storage technology, ESS and SMUD plan to establish a Centre of Excellence (COE) for energy storage manufacturing in Sacramento. The COE will be established in partnership with local educational institutions and will provide workforce training and support economic development in the greater Sacramento region.

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Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

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