Redflow wraps up funding for U.S. battery project

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Redflow has formally received grant funding approval from the California Energy Commission after the Australian company was earlier this year tapped to build a 1.5 MW / 6.6 MWh zinc bromine flow battery system to improve grid reliability and resilience for the Barona Band of Mission Indians.

The state-owned California Energy Commission has approved funding of $13.5 million (USD 8.98 million) for the $19.6 million project and the Barona Tribal Community will contribute $6.1 million.

The funding clears the way for Brisbane-based Redflow, which produces its zinc-bromide flow batteries at its factory in Thailand, to start project planning in partnership with the native American community and renewable energy asset developer Ameresco.

The 6.6 MWh system is scheduled to come online in the 2026 financial year, with a formal timetable still to be finalised with the Barona Tribal Community.

Redflow North America President Mark Higgins said the Barona battery will be the company’s fourth multi-MWh project involving the California Energy Commission, which is actively seeking alternative energy storage options to lithium-ion batteries.

Flow batteries, a type of electrochemical cell, store energy in electrolyte liquids. They are usually designed to have two tanks, one containing a positively charged anode and the other with a negatively charged cathode, separated by a membrane.

Redflow manufactures the ZBM3 battery, a 10 kWh zinc-bromine flow battery module that the company said is designed for high cycle rate, long-duration base stationary energy storage applications, and are scalable from small systems through to grid-scale deployments.

“Redflow has proven its technology in the California market, and our long-duration energy storage technology is highly aligned with California’s decarbonisation goals,” Higgins said.

California is aiming to achieve 60% renewables by 2030 to pave the way for carbon neutrality by 2045. The state has committed to a target of 45 to 55 GW of long-duration energy storage by 2045 to support grid stability and the state’s clean energy transition targets.

Among the projects Redflow is delivering in California is a 34.4 MWh behind-the-meter zinc-bromine flow battery energy storage system that will be paired with a solar installation to provide power for the Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera.

It is also delivering a 20 MWh zinc-based battery energy storage system to provide power for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians in northern California, and in 2022 installed a 2 MWh system for biowaste tech company Anaergia.

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