ESS Inc. (“ESS” or “the Company”), a U.S. manufacturer of long-duration batteries, announced that it has entered into a framework agreement with SB Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp, to deploy two gigawatt-hours (2 GWh) of ESS batteries through 2026. The agreement demonstrates ESS and SB Energy’s shared commitment and vision of a global shift to renewables and decarbonization of the grid. ESS recently announced it would become a public company through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, ACON S2 Acquisition Corp.
In connection with the agreement, the first ESS system has already been delivered to an SB Energy location in Davis, California, and will be commissioned in October 2021. SB Energy plans to install additional ESS flow battery systems to complement its expanding portfolio of solar power projects in Texas and California, two of the fastest-growing markets for long-duration storage in the U.S. With its iron-, salt-, and water-based batteries, ESS systems help customers enhance grid resiliency while eliminating the risk of the batteries catching fire, particularly in wildfire-prone areas such as California.
“ESS’s unique ability to manufacture and ship batteries using iron, salt, and water is a game-changer, enabling SB Energy to offer our customers safe, sustainable and low-cost energy storage today,” said Rich Hossfeld, Co-Chief Executive Officer at SB Energy and ESS Board Member. “Long-duration storage is absolutely critical to providing flexible, affordable renewable energy at scale and aligns perfectly with the Biden administration’s ambitious clean energy initiatives. SB Energy is excited to continue its partnership with ESS and deploy the company’s domestically manufactured batteries into the vast and rapidly growing market for energy storage.”
“This agreement exemplifies the accelerating demand for long-duration energy storage and reinforces our strong partnership with SB Energy to supply safe and sustainable technology built in the U.S.,” said Eric Dresselhuys, ESS CEO. “The energy transition will require massive amounts of storage capacity in the coming years and we are focused on scaling up our manufacturing capacity to help meet that demand. We are fortunate to have such great partners as SB Energy and Breakthrough Energy Ventures and look forward to a long and expanding partnership.”
“Long-duration energy storage is a critical innovation needed to support the world’s transition to clean, renewable energy. BEV is proud to have supported Eric and his team since our original investment in ESS back in 2019. Today we remain confident that ESS is well-positioned to scale its systems globally, especially partnering with SB Energy,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
ESS also recently announced that it had closed an order with Enel Green Power España to deliver 17 ESS Energy Warehouse™ battery systems with a combined capacity of 8.5 MWh. The project will support a solar farm in Spain as a part of a broader EU-wide engagement, providing resilience for the local power grid.