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Iron Battery Breakthrough Could Eat Lithium’s Lunch

Iron-flow technology from ESS is being deployed at scale in the U.S.

Battery Breakthrough May Help End Globe’s Grid Failures
Photographer: Tojo Andrianarivo/Bloomberg

The world’s electric grids are creaking under the pressure of volatile fossil-fuel prices and the imperative of weaning the world off polluting energy sources. A solution may be at hand, thanks to an innovative battery that’s a cheaper alternative to lithium-ion technology.

SB Energy Corp., a U.S. renewable-energy firm that’s an arm of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., is making a record purchase of the batteries manufactured by ESS Inc. The Oregon company says it has new technology that can store renewable energy for longer and help overcome some of the reliability problems that have caused blackouts in California and record-high energy prices in Europe.