Saltwater flow battery added to solar-on-canal project


From pv magazine USA

A California water irrigation district has launched Project Nexus, which is installing a 4 MW solar canopy on an irrigation canal in California.

ESS Inc., a saltwater energy storage system manufacturer, has announced the delivery of an Energy Warehouse system to the Turlock Irrigation District in central California. The energy storage company will deploy a few Energy Warehouse containers to pair with solar panels over irrigation canals.

Project Nexus intends to generate clean energy while conserving water resources in an increasingly arid California environment. It selected the Energy Warehouse for its safe and non-toxic characteristics, which makes it ideal for siting adjacent to water infrastructure. Funding for the Turlock project is provided by the state of California.

The solar-plus-storage project will shade canals with solar panels, a process that will reduce evaporative losses while generating clean energy. Recent research by the University of California, Merced, shows the potential for 13 GW of solar capacity to be installed over California canals, which could necessitate about 3 GW of energy storage systems and contribute to the state’s clean energy and water conservation goals.

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“This project addresses multiple climate challenges at once and is the kind of innovative approach that will build a climate-resilient future,” said Hugh McDermott, senior vice president, business development and sales at ESS. “We look forward to delivering a solution that can be replicated across California and other drought-prone areas.”

Turlock’s initial solar-plus-storage project is set to be complete in 2024. ESS says its iron flow technology provides long-duration energy storage and is designed for applications that require up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity. The company reports that its non-toxic flow battery has a 25-year design life without capacity fade.

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