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New York testing innovative zinc air energy storage system

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced a collaboration with an energy storage company to develop a demonstration energy storage system, using new zinc-air energy storage technology, in New York State.

NYPA will support the development, fabrication and installation of the storage unit at commercial scale over a three-year period. The 100-kW/1-MWh behind-the-meter energy storage system will be installed at a demonstration site in Western New York State. NYPA is actively investigating potential sites, such as a municipal building or a building on a college campus or university that would benefit from the demonstration of this technology. The final demonstration site is expected to be set in the first quarter of 2020.

Zinc8 Energy Solutions developed a patented zinc-air energy storage system that stores energy in the form of zinc particles and contains none of the traditional battery commodities such as lithium, vanadium or cobalt. The technology allows for low-cost mass storage of energy and can be deployed into a wide range of scalable energy storage applications, said the company.

The project, selected as a winner through the NYPA Innovation Challenge, will have the ability to provide back-up power, help level grid demand, and move the state further toward a carbon-free electric grid supported by renewable energy resources, according to NYPA.

Pat Sapinsley, NYU Tandon managing director of Clean Tech Initiatives, said, “The selection of Zinc8 Energy Solutions illustrates how important and effective a public-academic collaboration like the NYPA Innovation Challenge can prove. By awarding this contract, New York State is not only accelerating its own clean-energy future but building confidence in the clean-power industry overall.”

Zinc8 and NYPA see this initial collaboration and installation as a reference site for future installations that will further demonstrate Zinc8’s technology through NYPA’s wide variety of customers in microgrid, commercial and industrial and utility markets. The demonstration project is anticipated for installation in 2022.

“This collaboration with the New York Power Authority is a milestone in Zinc8 Energy Solutions’ path to full commercialization and underscores the growing demand for low-cost reliable long-duration energy storage. This unique opportunity with NYPA not only helps Zinc8 contribute to the rapid advancement of clean energy in New York State, but also opens the door for Zinc8 to deploy its technology into the broader utility market,” said Zinc8 Energy Solutions President and CEO Ron MacDonald.

Lead image shows an engineer at work in the Zinc8 lab. Credit: Zinc8 Energy Solutions.

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