US utility to demonstrate liquid metal long-duration storage at solar test site


From pv magazine USA

Ambri, a developer of liquid-metal long-duration energy storage systems, has revealed plans to partner with Colorado electric utility Xcel Energy on a demonstration project. The project will demonstrate the ability of Ambri’s calcium-antimony liquid metal batteries to interact with renewable energy.

MRI Global’s Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) will be the host site for the demonstration project. The SolarTAC was established to test renewable energy technologies in real-world, grid-connected environments.

Ambri’s chemistry is being developed to meet the demands of large industrial energy customers, such as data centers. The company’s large-scale battery unit has 250 kW/1,000 kWh of capacity, DC efficiency of more than 80% under a wide set of use cases, a response time of less than 500 milliseconds, and voltages between 550 V to 1,150 V.

It is housed in a 10-foot shipping container. The system holds shelves of cells, thermal management systems, a weatherproof outer enclosure, and a battery management system for applications that require high energy capacity, frequent cycling, long lifetimes, and high efficiency.

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Xcel Energy is the first utility in the United States to set a long-term goal of providing its customers with zero-carbon electricity. It aims to be net-zero across electricity, heating, and transportation by 2050. Ambri’s technology is designed to perform in a wide range of environments, potentially making it the right fit for Xcel to effectively store and dispatch power in harsh Colorado weather conditions.

The SolarTAC has been owned and operated by MRI Global since 2011. It will test Ambri’s technology for one year. In addition to solar and energy storage, the site is used to test microgrid capabilities at the edge of the electric distribution system.

In 2020, Ambri signed a deal with TerraScale, a clean infrastructure development company, to deliver 250 MWh of Ambri systems to TerraScale’s Energos Reno data center project. The site’s battery will be bolstered by a reported 500 MW of on-site renewable generation.

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