Powering Strong Communities

California’s SMUD Enters Agreement to Deploy Long Duration Energy Storage

California public power utility SMUD and ESS Inc. on Sept. 20 announced an agreement to provide up to 200 megawatts (MW)/2 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of long duration energy storage (LDES) that will be provided by ESS.

The agreement calls for ESS to deliver a mix of its long-duration energy storage LDES technology for integration with the SMUD electric grid beginning in 2023.

SMUD will deploy the LDES systems in support of its 2030 zero carbon plan, which aims to reduce thermal generation, maximize local solar generation, provide neighborhood resiliency, and increase social justice and equity. LDES is a key component in SMUD’s decarbonization plan, without compromising reliability or low electricity rates, SMUD said.

As part of this multi-year agreement, ESS intends to set up facilities for battery system assembly, operations and maintenance support and project delivery in Sacramento, creating local, high paying jobs.

In addition, SMUD and ESS plan to establish a Center of Excellence to expand the workforce and knowledge base for LDES technology in partnership with higher education institutions.

The center will provide advanced LDES technical training, creating a statewide skilled talent pool to help build and maintain California’s fast-growing long-duration energy storage resources.

ESS manufactures long-duration iron flow batteries for commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications.

The American Public Power Association’s Public Power Energy Tracker is a resource for association members that summarizes public power energy storage projects that are currently online. The tracker is available here.