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Sustainable Business Oregon: Portland startup snags $2.1M for 'limitless' battery
Author: Mason Walker
Posted: April 21, 2014

Read the original article in Sustainable Business Oregon here.

A Portland startup has landed $2.1 million to scale up its breakthrough battery technology.

Energy Storage Systems, founded in 2011 by former ClearEdge Power executive Craig Evans, received the grant funds from Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy better known as ARPA-E.

Energy Storage Systems is developing a battery system that uses benign components like iron and table salt to improve efficiency and lower costs.

Another benefit of the battery, which uses redox flow technology, is that it has the potential to recharge many times.

"With redox flow batteries, the charge cycles are virtually limitless, and with our all-iron chemistry, we eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in the electrolyte and dramatically cut the per kilowatt hour cost," said Evans.

ESS has received support from a handful of Portland organizations, including Oregon BEST and the Portland State Business Accelerator that it operates from.

To land the ARPA-E grant, ESS was required to raise 20 percent match funding from other sources. It received a portion of that in the form of a $150,000 grant from Oregon BEST, one of the state's signature research and commercialization centers.

ESS is aiming to roll out its system at businesses like small grocery stores and warehouses, which can store energy when it's cheap for use at times when utility costs peak. The systems can also be used in tandem with intermittent renewable energy technologies like wind and solar, storing energy for later use when the the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining.

The company was a runner-up at this week's Angel Oregon event, where the top prize of $256,000 went to Portland-based software firm Nouvola.