WEC Energy Group has announced that it will lead a pilot project at its Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee to test a new form of long-duration energy storage.
WEC Energy Group is collaborating with EPRI, an independent, nonprofit energy research and development institute, and CMBlu Energy, the developer and manufacturer of the long-duration battery based in California and Germany.
This 1-to-2-megawatt-hour pilot project will be one of the first to test this type of energy storage system on the U.S. electric grid.
“One of our most important goals is to help shape the future of clean energy — testing technologies that could be true game changers,” said Gale Klappa, executive chairman — WEC Energy Group. “On-demand energy storage is clearly a key component to an energy transition that is affordable, reliable and clean.”
“The results of the pilot will provide key insights on how this innovation can be applied around the country,” said Neva Espinzoa, EPRI vice president — energy supply and low-carbon resources. “We look forward to collaborating with WEC Energy Group and CMBlu Energy to help provide solutions to enable additional resilience through the energy transition.”
The CMBlu Organic SolidFlow energy storage system uses a proprietary flow battery technology with components from abundant, recyclable materials. These batteries are expected to provide safe and reliable operation, with a high energy density that will enable compact solutions for a variety of applications for electric utilities.
The project will test the performance of the battery system, including discharge durations of five to 10 hours — up to twice as long as the typical lithium-ion batteries in use today.
The pilot project is planned for testing in the fourth quarter of this year.
“CMBlu Energy appreciates WEC Energy Group’s commitment to guide the future of long duration energy storage for its customers and the electric power industry,” said Ben Kaun, president — CMBlu Energy Inc. “This demonstration supports our roadmap of tailored products and manufacturing of Organic SolidFlow batteries in the United States.”
Findings will be shared with the utility industry. EPRI will share a complete analysis of the project in early 2024.