Ameresco, a leading cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, today announced that it has begun phase-two of a multi-stage investigation into how flow battery technology could support microgrids with the Department of Defense (DoD). Phase-one of the investigation was completed in April 2020 and primarily focused on evaluating the technical and economic feasibility of flow battery energy storage. Phase-two of the investigation shifts attention to physical validation and evaluation of flow batteries at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.
Phase-one of the research won a 2020 Project of the Year award from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). This success paved the way for Ameresco to advance to the second phase of the multi-stage research program, which is being conducted in partnership with NREL, and supported by Invinity Energy Systems (LSE:IES) and S&C Electric Company. Funding for the investigation comes from ESTCP, whose goal is to identify and demonstrate the most promising innovative and cost-effective technologies and methods that address DoD’s high-priority environmental requirements.
Research collected from the project’s first phase demonstrated that there is an opportunity for Vanadium Flow Battery (VFB) storage technology to decrease diesel generation reliance and lower the cost of critical load support within a military microgrid. Given these results, the objective of phase-two is to validate the reliability and operational performance of VFB battery equipment through Hardware in the Loop (HIL) testing.
“Microgrids offer enormous opportunity to provide resilient power—from military installations, to campuses to communities,” said Dr. Martha Symko-Davies, Laboratory Program Manager for NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility. “Flexible energy storage is a key component to incorporating more variable renewable energy into microgrid systems. We are extremely pleased to bring our advanced laboratory capabilities and expert researchers to this ESTCP project to further advance the state of the art of the technology. We look forward to sharing results from this effort, which can inform a wide range of military and nonmilitary applications.”