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Passage of Inflation Reduction Act Brings on a Battle of the Batteries

  • By Admin
  • February 27, 2023

A surge in the demand for Battery Energy Storage Systems to support or back up utility-scale renewables has been brought about due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and its infusion of financial incentives, making battery energy storage competitive with fossil fuels.  The result is a battle of the batteries: Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (LFP) vs. Nickel, Cobalt, and Manganese batteries (NCM). The lithium iron phosphate battery is a type of lithium-ion battery using lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO) as the cathode material and a graphic carbon electrode with a metallic backing as the anode. Recently, Michigan-based Our Next Energy, Inc. released their utility-scale version of this type of battery.  Their 79kWh battery pack, Aries Grid, is offered in 2,3-, and 6-MWh modular units. ONE’s LFP energy storage system uses an LFP cathode chemistry they claim is more durable and has double the lifetime energy throughput of the nickel, cobalt, and manganese chemistry battery systems. Although the energy density of LFP batteries is less than the NCM battery types, they have the advantage of lower cost, better material accessibility, and a longer lifetime. They can also be charged up to 100% more frequently than NCM batteries. Aries Grid’s discharge times range from 4-12 hours and when coupled with a renewable energy source, can provide 24/7 baseload capacity. Image Credit: Our Next Energy, Inc. 

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