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LEAG and ESS to Develop Clean Energy Hub for Germany

LEAG and ESS to Develop Clean Energy Hub for Germany

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LEAG to develop up to 14 GW of renewable generation paired with 2-3 GWh of energy storage and 2 GW of green hydrogen production

ESS Tech Inc., a leading global manufacturer of long-duration energy storage systems, and LEAG, a major German energy provider, signed an initial agreement to accelerate the clean energy transition through the deployment of renewable generation and long-duration energy storage using ESS iron flow battery technology.

Following the execution of definitive agreements and normal financial close, anticipated in Q3 2023, LEAG and ESS plan to build a 50 MW / 500 MWh iron flow battery system at the Boxberg Power Plant site, to be commissioned in 2027. The resulting 50 MW/500 MWh module is expected to become a standardized building block in LEAG’s plan to deploy 2-3 GWh of storage in the transformation of the LEAG power plant locations. LEAG and partners plan to invest €200 million with further support anticipated from additional investors and stakeholders.

ESS has developed an iron-based LDES technology which uses safe and sustainable battery chemistry to deliver low-cost, utility-scale energy storage. ESS technology is currently manufactured at the company’s facilities near Portland, Oregon, USA. ESS systems have already been deployed in commercial microgrid systems, with utility-scale projects underway in the USA and Australia.

“We look forward to partnering with LEAG to develop the model for utilities and communities worldwide transitioning from coal to clean, renewable energy,” said Eric Dresselhuys, CEO of ESS. “The deployment of renewables and long-duration energy storage will not only deliver reliable, clean energy to effectively replace the baseload power currently provided by coal, it will deliver economic opportunity and a cleaner environment for Germany.”

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LEAG is a leading operator of large-scale lignite mining and coal-fired generation in Eastern Germany that is implementing a vision to transform the coal-dependent region into Germany’s Green Powerhouse. The company plans to develop 7-14 GW of renewable generation paired with 2-3 GWh of energy storage and 2 GW of green hydrogen production. Combined, these technologies will create a net-zero-carbon baseload energy system. When fully operational, LEAG expects to demonstrate a renewable energy system at scale which not only replaces baseload coal generation, but uses short-duration storage, LDES and hydrogen to replace natural gas for grid balancing.

“A key requirement for our transformation into Germany’s Green Powerhouse is the deployment of cost-effective Long-Duration Energy Storage. We are energized to demonstrate the value of iron flow battery technology at scale,” said Thorsten Kramer, CEO of LEAG. “The Energy Resilience Leadership Group and Breakthrough Energy have provided an ideal framework to drive rapid technology development and deployment to meet emissions goals as soon as possible.”

LEAG and ESS have joined the Energy Resilience Leadership Group (ERLG), a multi-stakeholder initiative led by Breakthrough Energy and Siemens Energy that brings together corporate CEOs, political leaders, financial institutions, and startups at the technology frontier. The Group was launched at the 2023 Munich Security Conference with the goal to enhance Europe’s energy resilience by rapidly bringing emerging climate technologies to scale. ERLG forges partnerships between startups and corporates to work towards deploying commercially viable projects within 24 months. The project of LEAG and ESS is one of the projects that the ERLG network is helping to accelerate.

“We are pleased to support a long-term strategic relationship between energy and technology experts LEAG and ESS through the Energy Resilience Leadership Group,” said Philipp Offenberg, Senior Manager, Europe at Breakthrough Energy. “Delivering green baseload power thanks to scalable, long-duration energy storage will not only solve a major challenge to decarbonization. It will also enhance Europe’s energy resilience, because less natural gas will be needed for backup power generation in the future.”

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