Phoenix not-for-profit public power utility Salt River Project will install a pilot project with a unique long-duration energy storage system.
The 5-MW, 10-hour project, named Desert Blume, will use non-lithium batteries from CMBlu Energy. Installed at the Copper Crossing Energy and Research Center in Florence, Arizona, this is the first at-scale installation of CMBlu’s batteries.
CMBlu’s Organic SolidFlow battery technology uses a non-flammable proprietary mixture of solid electrolyte and water-based electrolytes with high energy density and performance. The systems are fully recyclable, free of rare metals, and housed inside buildings. CMBlu expects its battery system to cost-effectively store and deliver energy for two- to three-times longer per cycle than traditional lithium-ion technology, which typically targets a four-hour duration.
CMBlu’s redox flow battery system uses carbon-based molecules for its electrolytes.
The project is designed to store energy for SRP’s customers during daytime periods, largely from Arizona’s abundant solar generation, and return that energy to the grid throughout the night. It will store enough energy to power about 1,125 average homes for 10 hours.
“We are privileged to work with CMBlu and gain experience with their extremely innovative technology,” said Jim Pratt, CEO of SRP. “This resource will supplement SRP’s power system helping provide stored power for longer periods, especially in times of fluctuating, high energy demand from customers in the Valley. It will be a helpful addition to SRP’s significant number of renewable resources and storage projects, which generally only store energy for up to four hours.”
“Desert Blume is a critical project to validate Organic SolidFlow batteries at scale and promote safe, sustainable, and secure long-duration energy storage built in the United States,” said Ben Kaun, President of CMBlu Energy’s U.S. division. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with SRP to support their rapid clean energy transition, as well as have the opportunity to demonstrate our technology in the Southwestern U.S. Phoenix anchors one of the country’s fastest growing metro areas, with abundant solar potential, making it an ideal environment for the next generation of long-duration energy storage.”
This pilot is part of an approved third phase of continued development at SRP’s Copper Crossing Energy and Research Center in Florence. The first phase will add two flexible natural gas turbines with a total output of less than 100 MW, and the second phase will add a utility-scale advanced solar generation facility capable of generating up to 55 MW of solar energy.
Construction is slated to begin in early 2025, and SRP and CMBlu expect the pilot to be operational in December 2025.
News item from CMBlu