Burbank Water and Power Brings First Utility-Scale Battery Storage to Burbank


Burbank Water and Power (BWP) has entered into an agreement with ESS Inc. (NYSE: GWH) to bring the first utility-scale battery storage project to Burbank. As part of the agreement, a 75 kW iron flow battery will be installed and connected to a 265 kW solar array on the BWP EcoCampus.

 The iron flow battery will provide several new opportunities for Burbank, such as supporting more renewable power on the grid, allowing intermittent renewable power to be stored and used as a baseload energy supply for the city, and enhancing grid resilience. The battery is anticipated to have a 25-year lifespan and is a long-duration battery, which means it can store 6-12 hours of energy for use at a later time. Additionally, the iron-flow battery is safe, non-toxic, and is manufactured using earth abundant materials predominantly sourced within the United States.

“BWP is already using small-scale battery technology at our substations, but this initiative will be the largest battery installed in Burbank, providing enough renewable power for 300 homes annually,” says Mandip Samra, Assistant General Manager for Power Supply at BWP. “This installation will allow us to store excess solar energy on the grid and use it during the super peak and night-time hours. It is a big step forward to meet our goal of having a greenhouse gas-free power supply by 2040 and providing energy storage for Burbank now and decades to come.”

“ESS is pleased to partner with Burbank Water and Power to deploy the first utility-scale energy storage project in the city,” said Hugh McDermott, ESS Senior Vice President of Business Development and Sales. “BWP is demonstrating the central role that long-duration energy storage will play in a decarbonized grid and we look forward to working with them to achieve their ambitious climate goals.”

 To help offset the cost of the battery and installation, BWP secured a grant from the American Public Power Association Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Development for $125,000. The battery is anticipated to be installed by December 2023.

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I spoke with executives at the United States Department of Energy who are willing to discuss hydrogen fuel with the City. Our needs for large vehicles will not be met by electric motors and batteries. The City will need options for trucks and public transportation. Blue hydrogen is an industry term for hydrogen produced from natural gas and supported by carbon capture and storage. The CO2 generated during the manufacturing process is captured and stored permanently underground. The result is low-carbon hydrogen that produces no CO2. The City currently donates much of the AB1890 funds to individuals and nonprofits. While well-meaning, these programs can be transitioned to nonprofits and the AB1890 funds could be put to use for long-term solutions to help us transition to options such as blue hydrogen that produce no CO2 and do not rely on batteries. Food for thought.

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