Berkeley, CA – December 13, 2023 – Today, the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted to award Form Energy a $30 million grant to support the deployment of a 5 megawatt (MW) / 500 megawatt-hour (MWh) multi-day energy storage system in California. Form Energy will build the project at the site of a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) electric substation in Mendocino County. The project will be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of multi-day energy storage to help California meet its renewable energy and zero carbon resource goals, while ensuring electric reliability and affordability. Expected to come online by 2025, this will be Form Energy’s first project in California and the first multi-day energy storage project in the state.
The CEC is supporting this project through its Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) program, a fund dedicated to accelerating the implementation of non-lithium technologies offering 8+ hours of energy storage. Form Energy will use the grant funds to develop and operate the project, and PG&E will provide land and an interconnection point at the substation site.
After voting to approve the grant today, David Hochschild, Chair of the California Energy Commission, said, “Long-duration and multi-day energy storage are critical to achieving California’s clean energy goals. Just like the state has done through its pioneering policies and investments to rapidly scale project deployment and jobs in the solar, lithium-ion battery storage, and other industries, California is continuing to accelerate the path to market for emerging technologies that are critically needed to address climate change, air pollution, and equity in our state and globally.”
California State Senator Nancy Skinner, whose East Bay district includes Form Energy’s Berkeley engineering facility and whose pioneering law in 2010, AB 2514, created the first energy storage targets for utilities, complimented Form Energy on the announcement, saying, “In California, we create markets for the clean technologies that will drive our future – everything from electric cars to utility scale renewables and short duration energy storage. Now we’re doing the same for the emerging multi-day energy storage technologies that are needed to complete our clean energy puzzle, with technology designed and tested right here in Berkeley, CA. Congratulations to Form Energy, and the CEC, for this exciting announcement.”
The grant comes at a time when California is looking to bring more renewable energy and firm zero-carbon capacity – like multi-day energy storage – online to support the state’s transition to clean energy and electric grid reliability. In 2018, California passed Senate Bill 100, setting targets for 60% of the state’s energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2030, and 100% to come from renewable energy and zero-carbon resources by 2045. As California charts a course to meet these goals, it is also battling the increased pressures of severe weather and climate events – including extreme heat, wildfires, and severe winter storms. New technologies capable of storing energy for long periods of time and multiple days will be needed to ensure a reliable and cost-effective grid. The 2021 SB 100 Joint Agency Report found that the commercialization of firm zero carbon resources like multi-day storage could reduce overall energy system costs in California by $2 billion annually in 2045.
Following the CEC vote, Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-Founder of Form Energy shared, “We are excited to be building our first project in California, a place that holds special significance to many Form Energy employees as their home state, and as my home state, too. Long duration, and specifically multi-day, energy storage technologies have significant potential to help California meet its decarbonization, affordability, and reliability goals. We thank the CEC for this grant and for their continued leadership, and we thank PG&E for their ongoing collaboration in helping to bring this project to fruition. We expect this will be the first of many multi-day storage projects to come in California.”
About Form Energy
Form Energy is an American technology company developing and commercializing a new class of cost-effective, multi-day energy storage systems. Form Energy’s first announced commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants. Made from iron, one of the safest, cheapest, and most abundant minerals on Earth, this front-of-the-meter battery can be used continuously over a multi-day period and will enable a reliable and secure grid year-round. To learn more about Form Energy, please visit FormEnergy.com.
About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.