TORONTO, ONTARIO (September 30, 2020) – e-Zinc, a Toronto-based energy storage innovator, announced it was awarded a U.S. $1.3 million grant by the California Energy Commission for its affordable, safe and reliable long-duration energy storage technology.  The project will demonstrate a technology that is pivotal for California’s transition to 100% renewable energy and will provide significant benefits to California businesses and consumers once commercialized.

e-Zinc has developed a breakthrough technology for grid-scale energy storage, which leverages low-cost zinc metal, and delivers multiple days’ worth of storage.  Long duration storage is essential for achieving California’s goals of 60% renewable energy resources by December 31, 2030 and 100% by December 31, 2045, and e-Zinc’s solution is a stand-out approach because it scales energy capacity at a capital cost that is a fraction of that of lithium ion batteries.
Working with e-Zinc on this project are Western Energy Systems (WES), a power project developer headquartered in Brea, CA, and Houwelings, a sustainably-focused greenhouse grower that will host the project at their 125-acre Camarillo, CA facility.  The e-Zinc energy storage system will be paired with Houwelings’ existing solar PV system, capturing excess solar generation and using it to offset the facility’s irrigation load during peak hours and overnight, and demonstrating up to 48 hours of back-up power in the event of a grid outage.

“e-Zinc’s technology is uniquely positioned to provide Californians with back-up power in the face of a grid outage due to wildfires, while also helping them reduce their energy bills through daily cycling,” said James Larsen, CEO of e-Zinc. “Canada has invested heavily in cleantech, and today we’re leveraging our knowledge and expertise into the United States and California specifically.  One hundred percent of the grant funds will be spent in California as an investment in an exciting renewable energy future.”

While e-Zinc’s technology is especially well-suited for multiple days’ worth of low-cost, grid-scale energy storage, it can also be applied as an affordable behind-the-meter solution for smaller commercial and industrial customers, providing:

  • Increased resiliency – A reliable source of backup power in the case of a grid outage, or during a fire-prevention public safety power shutoff.  This is particularly important for critical facilities.
  • Energy benefits – Reduction in electricity demand during peak times, leading to demand charge reductions for the customer, and when multiple systems deployed, greenhouse gas emissions reductions by reducing the need for fossil-fuel utility peaking units.

“We’re extremely pleased that e-Zinc has received this grant from CEC.  The project with WES and Houweling’s is an excellent opportunity to further develop and showcase the novelty of e-Zinc’s technology and corresponding cost position,” said Sara Chamberlain, Managing Director at Energy Foundry, a Chicago-based venture fund that invested in e-Zinc in 2019.