Xcel Energy will use Ambri’s battery technology as the utility works toward providing zero-carbon electricity.
The utility company will use the Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) to demonstrate Ambri’s platform. Xcel Energy plans to use Ambri’s Liquid Metal battery technology as part of its work to install more renewable energy and retire coal power plants.
Xcel Energy is one of the first utilities to set a goal of providing zero-carbon or net-zero electricity. It plans to provide thorough clean energy in terms of electricity, heating, and transportation by 2050.
The Ambri Liquid Metal battery technology helps increase the contribution of renewable sources to the grid while reducing the need to build traditional power plants. The long-duration energy storage platform is built for daily cycling, even in tough environments, and does not produce or emit any emissions, the company says.
The battery system will be demonstrated at SolarTAC, which is located in Aurora, Colorado. Solar and distribution grid technologies have been tested on the site since 2011. Xcel Energy is a founding member of SolarTAC, which also supports microgrid capabilities.
Xcel Energy says it is testing the system to help the company build out long-duration energy storage.
The EPA says long-duration energy storage can help reduce the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% for systems that produce more than 10 hours of energy. The agency says energy storage has the potential to accelerate the decarbonization of the electric grid.
Last year Ambri received $144 million in funding from Reliance New Energy Solar to continue building its energy storage technology. The company says the system’s storage capabilities last up to 24 hours.
According to the Long Duration Energy Council, which includes companies such as Google and Microsoft, up to 140 terawatt hours of long-term energy storage is needed by 2040 for the grid to reach net zero. That is 15-times the energy storage currently installed, and long-duration energy storage will eventually produce 10% of all electricity.
Xcel Energy provides energy services to eight states across the midwestern and western US. In addition to its net-zero electricity goal, the company has a target to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% through 2030 based on 2005 levels.