Con Edison to Test Power-Grid Battery With Eos in New York City

Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED), owner of the utility that supplies power to New York City, next year will test a battery system from Eos Energy Storage LLC as part of a state-funded research program.

Eos will install one of its zinc-air batteries with 36 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity at a Con Edison facility in New York City, according to Philippe Bouchard, the closely held company’s director of business development. The project will be Eos’s first to provide backup power on the electrical grid and precedes larger installations planned with Con Edison, other utility owners and independent power producers, Bouchard said today in a telephone interview.

Grid-scale energy storage is a “multi-hundred billion dollar market opportunity,” he said. “There’s such an obvious problem that has yet to be addressed by a product in the market, and that is fundamentally how do we decouple supply and demand on the electricity grid?”

Eos, based in New York City, is developing batteries for grid-scale and transportation applications, and its systems will be designed to last as long as 30 years, Bouchard said. The company expects as many as six partners, including “a cross section of the largest utilities in Europe and the U.S.,” to be testing its batteries next year, Chief Executive Officer Michael Oster said Feb. 8 in an interview.

Price Threshold

The company plans to sell its grid-scale systems for $160 a kilowatt-hour, which would make them “cost competitive with gas peaking plants and copper wire used for transmission and distribution upgrades,” Bouchard said. “Batteries get really interesting at around $300 per kilowatt hour, that’s where they can compete with these incumbent technologies, but our goal is to significantly cross that price threshold.”

The $500,000 project is funded by a $250,000 grant from the New York Research and Development Authority that must be matched by private funds, Bouchard said. The agency today also awarded about $1.15 million to five additional companies developing energy storage systems, including Watt Fuel Cell Corp., Electromotive Designs LLC, Custom Electronics Inc., Bettergy Corp. and Battery Energy Storage Systems Technologies LLC.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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