Indian Energy LLC, a utility-scale and microgrid development and systems integration firm, was awarded US$1.2 million by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to demonstrate a non-lithium-ion, long-duration energy storage solution.
Long-duration, non-lithium-ion energy storage is the final key to unlocking renewables and permanently evading the blackouts and brownouts that California is currently facing because of fires, a changing energy mix, and climate change. Without storage, 100% renewables penetration is not possible.
The grant was the result of CEC Solicitation GFO-19-306, Demonstrating Long-Duration and Title 24-Compatible Energy Storage Technologies. The purpose of this solicitation was to fund technology demonstration and the deployment of research projects that support the State of California's Development of Customer's Business Proposition to Accelerate Integrated Distributed Storage Market.
The energy storage goals are aimed to rapidly advance the deployment of state-of-the-art and 100% renewable microgrids in California. These projects involve both the installation and operation of pre- and post-commercial energy storage technologies. These applications have been a pressing need across the region and the State of California as a whole.
Using the grant funds, Indian Energy, along with strategic partners Webcor and KE Storage Corp. (KESC), will develop an energy storage integration and certification unit (VICU), located on the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay lands. The VICU will demonstrate the long duration energy storage capabilities of (KESC) NextGen flywheel technology. The project will also incorporate 150 kW of solar photovoltaic (PV), and provide grid support and resiliency to the tribe's Emergency Medical Services facility.
"While showing the environmentally sound merits of non-lithium-based energy storage, this project will also provide resiliency to a key medical facility on our lands," said John Christman, chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. "This project will lay the foundation for a true energy sovereign solution for our tribal members and businesses."
"The insight of the CEC to accelerate energy storage is visionary and Indian Energy is honored to play a critical role in demonstrating the value of long-duration, utility-scale energy storage. Because of the state's current firestorms, historical record-breaking heat, and the incredible stress being put upon the state's local and regional grids, this need for energy storage has proven to be most opportune," said Allen G. Cadreau, CEO of Indian Energy.