President, CEO & Founder, ESS Inc.
Optimizing Microgrids with Long-Duration Energy Storage Assets
Craig Evans is the President, CEO, and founder of ESS Inc. Having started ESS from his garage in 2011, he led the company to commercialization of the Iron Flow Battery system in 2016. Evans has authored over 15 patents and patent applications. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, an M.S. in Finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Opportunities for microgrid projects are ever-expanding, and with it comes a growing interest in energy storage technologies that can advance and optimize operation of microgrids in both grid-connected and off-grid applications. Developers are seeking storage technologies that can provide the best of both worlds: the long-duration, long-life benefits of pumped hydro – at a levelized cost of energy at or below that of li-ion batteries. As with any technology choice, microgrid developers and project owners are also trying to figure out which long-duration storage applications will provide the greatest return on investment, and best meet the energy needs of each system component.
This presentation will explore long-duration use cases (a minimum four hours), evaluate different technologies, and outline some decision factors involved in choosing a long-duration storage resource from those that are available today. It will then segue to one of ESS Inc.’s own battery installations at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) microgrid; a 50kW/400kWh Energy Warehouse (EW) flow battery that is performing renewables smoothing and shifting, behind-the-meter demand charge management, and wholesale ancillary services such as frequency regulation. The presentation will analyze the EW’s performance and explore the value it brings to the UCSD microgrid, and open discussion for developers, contractors and project owners to consider how the battery’s capabilities may (or may not) align with their own microgrids’ needs.