Founded in 2014 by prominent biotech entrepreneur Peter Geigle and a group of leading German energy and automotive executives, CMBlu aims to reduce the costs of energy storage using a proprietary organic flow battery technology that dramatically increases safety and enables a local supply-chain from Europe and the United States.
CMBlu has hired Ben Kaun, a long-time energy storage executive from a global energy R&D firm, to serve as President and lead the US expansion plan. The company will be participating at Energy Storage North America in Long Beach, California from February 14-16, 2023, expecting to make its first generation modular energy storage systems available for field testing with a select number of US energy customers during the year.
"CMBlu's Organic Solid-FlowT battery system combines increased safety, sustainable supply chain, and high energy density to enable thousands of projects at utility scale," says Kaun. "In just the last few months, we've had a great deal of interest in our pilot projects for 2023."
CMBlu founder and CEO Peter Geigle said the decision to expand into the US was based on several factors. "Compared to Germany and the rest of Europe, the US is clearly marching ahead in the development and application of large-scale storage solutions. In the Los Angeles area alone, there are already more battery storage projects than in all of Europe," says Geigle, adding, "We want to support this market transformation and, once our products gain acceptance, are fully committed to a US manufacturing presence, which builds upon a robust R&D and manufacturing capability of more than 160 employees already in Germany."
One key driver of growth for the US energy storage industry is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), through which the federal government is funding the transition to a green energy economy with more than $350 billion over the next decade. Included within the IRA are robust incentives to set up domestic production of battery storage in the United States and deploy clean energy projects like CMBlu's long-duration energy storage systems.
CMBlu expects to build on its work in Europe by offering a range of energy storage solutions that fit customer needs, from modular, mobile containerized products to entire warehouses that store electricity and can power small cities for several hours per charge.
In Austria, for example, CMBlu is supplying its Organic Solid-FlowT battery storage systems to power utility Burgenland Energie, so that its service territory becomes the first climate-neutral region in the world.
Burgenland Energie CEO Stephan Sharma explains, "To make Burgenland energy self-sufficient with wind and sun, we need a storage power of 100 megawatts with energy of 300 megawatt hours. We want to achieve this goal with sustainable energy storage facilities." According to industry analyst Trendforce, the installed storage capacity in the United States is expected to reach 136 gigawatt-hours by 2025, almost three times as high as in Europe.
"High demand for lithium batteries needed to make electric cars as well as unstable and overwhelmed supply chains for raw materials have put upward pressure on market prices for most battery systems. "Unlike competitors, CMBlu has a sustainable energy storage solution that rivals the performance of lithium with improved cost and safety, especially for long duration applications," explains Geigle.