From NY to CA: Tales from the front lines of zinc battery ESS installations from coast to coast

G. Cowles
Urban Electric Power, Inc.,
United States

Keywords: zinc batteries, energy storage systems, rechargeable alkaline chemistry


Urban Electric Power, Inc. (UEP) manufactures rechargeable zinc-manganese dioxide batteries for use in energy storage systems. UEP’s core technology revolutionizes the chemistry found in alkaline primary batteries (e.g. double AA) and makes it rechargeable. Breakthrough technology advancements made at UEP, and the City University of New York have enabled this trusted battery chemistry to be utilized in rechargeable applications as demonstrated by UEP’s active system installations across the United States. From its manufacturing headquarters in Pearl River, NY, UEP is supplying batteries for energy storage systems (ESS) from New York to California. This presentation will explore three active installations which provide power resilience, displace diesel generators, and optimize solar PV consumption. Each case study will review the system’s value proposition, performance data, and lessons learned during installation. 1. San Diego, CA: San Diego Supercomputer Center (1MW/2MWh). UEP will present an overview of the use case and value proposition for utilizing zinc in place of lead-acid or lithium-ion in a UPS application. UEP received fire marshal approval to site the 1MW system indoors, largely due to the inherent safety of the rechargeable alkaline technology UEP exclusively brings to market. UEP’s system was able to utilize existing Mitsubishi power electronics on site for a drop in substitution which was less costly than the lithium alternative and still increased the backup time from 15 minutes to 2 hours, helping displace diesel generators. 2. Goshen, NY: 5 Spoke Creamery (15kW/50kWh). UEP will share an overview of an ESS coupled with 44kW solar installation at a working creamery in Goshen, NY. The solar + storage system effectively allows the creamery to time shift the solar PV, taking advantage of various demand programs with Orange & Rockland utility. This allows the Creamery to decrease utility based operating costs and increase on-site solar PV consumption, and displaces a diesel generator by providing reliable backup power in case of an outage. 3. Amenia, NY: Link Farm 20kW/80kWh. UEP will present an overview of an ESS coupled with a 60kW solar installation on a farm in Amenia, NY. The solar + storage system effectively allows Link Farm to go off-grid, islanding the farm which includes a dairy operation, nunnery retreat, and two residential homes. The system will allow Link Farm to reduce dependency on an existing diesel generator, providing enough power and energy to effectively run the farm on a continuing basis provided there is solar.