Xcel cleared to add 10-MW/1,000-MWh iron-air battery in Minnesota
Solar modules. Featured Image: Jackiso/Shutterstock.com
US utility Xcel Energy (NASDAQ:XEL) has obtained approval from state regulators to build a 10-MW/1,000-MWh iron-air battery, developed by Form Energy, at the utility’s Sherburne coal-fired power plant in Becker, Minnesota.
The project will demonstrate the novel technology of Massachusetts-based start-up Form Energy, which could provide 100 hours of energy storage, much more than most existing battery technologies.
“Multi-day battery storage has the potential to help us better harness the renewable energy we generate while ensuring the grid remains reliable for our customers,” said Bria Shea of Xcel Energy-Minnesota.
The battery will move into construction in the second quarter of 2024 and go live as early as 2025. It will be located close to the 710-MW Sherco Solar complex, which is currently in development.
The battery system is one of two iron-air battery projects that Xcel plans to install at retiring coal plants, the other being slated for Colorado. They are backed by a USD-20-million (EUR 18.4m) grant commitment by Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, part of Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy.
Xcel said it is also seeking a grant from the US Department of Energy to reduce the projects’ cost and intends to make use of the Inflation Reduction Act’s renewable energy tax credits.
Form Energy will site its first high-volume manufacturing facility in Weirton, West Virginia.