Project In New York Will Put Vanadium Flow Batteries to the Test

The possibility of utility-scale energy storage has been brought even closer to reality with the improvement and refinement of flow-battery technology that relies on vanadium.

The technology of vanadium flow batteries has been validated with an announcement by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that it will partner with energy storage company American Vanadium. The partnership will undertake a demonstration project that will use a CellCube vanadium redox flow energy storage system.


“This is not a technical demonstration, it’s to analyze how we can shift energy around during peak load periods,” American Vanadium President & CEO Bill Radvak explains. One of the interested parties is Con Edison, a partner in the project, who is seeking a means of expanding its demand response efforts so that the management of the electricity flow is controlled through the grid during peak demands.

The way in which the CellCube is used will be as a supplementary energy source in an automated demand response system. This system has been developed for a 1.6 million square foot New York City office building.

It is expected that the project is going to demonstrate how the use of this type of battery technology will allow commercial buildings to act smartly when using energy.

A new incentive system has been proposed by Con Ed for products that provide summer on-peak demand reduction. The incentives amount to $2,100/kW for battery storage systems.

Vanadium redox flow batteries are more effective when compared to lithium-ion storage because they provide long-duration storage. A lithium-ion battery will only last for around an hour.

Using a flow battery will also lower electricity costs. This is done by only charging the systems at night when the rates are lower. During the daytime the stored energy can be used to automatically reduce daily peak loads.

“New York is clearly creating a leading energy storage marketplace and the knowledge gained from this demonstration will help realize gains in building and grid energy efficiency, save money for electric ratepayers and, importantly, add a new weapon to the arsenal of resiliency tools in the event of future grid outages,” Radvak said in a statement

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