Energy Storage Systems (ESS) last week announced its $1.725 million U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E grant for development of redox flow batteries. Coupled with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, ESS’ batteries absorb extra energy when the source is present and releases energy when the source is absent. ESS is only the third company in Oregon to receive the ARPA-E grant. “We really believe in the product,” says Julia Song, CTO. It’s clear that others believe in the product as well, as ESS also won the ONAMI Gap Grant this year.
ESS’ initial market is time-of-use clients who pay extra for electricity used at peak hours, such as chain restaurants in California. Using ESS’ systems, these clients save money while maintaining a high level of performance. ESS’ long-term goals reach into a utility-scale, which could make wide-spread adoption of solar power a reality.
Craig Evans, CEO, and Julia plan to bring their technology to market through rigorous alpha and beta product development programs. They know the importance of a good home base while building a new technology. “There’s nothing else like the Accelerator,” Julia says, and appreciates the connection it provides with PSU. When ESS needed specialized equipment, PSU’s Center for Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication offered its instruments.
Craig and Julia have built a strong team with mechanical, chemical and materials backgrounds. Their style is down-to-earth and straight-forward. “I started in my garage,” Craig says, and since moving into the Accelerator, the focus has been on technology development within an entrepreneurial community.