Dominion Energy Inc. executives are asking Virginia regulators to let them build a battery storage facility that will test emerging iron-air and zinc-hybrid chemistries.
The proposed pilot project would be built at Dominion’s Darbytown Power Station in Richmond and install technologies developed by Form Energy and Eos Energy Enterprises. Form, which is building a $760 million plant in West Virginia, builds iron-air batteries that use “reversible rusting” to discharge energy for up to 100 hours, which Dominion said is 25 times more than the typical battery duration today. Eos’ technology is for shorter durations and uses an aqueous electrolyte to charge and discharge energy.
“We are making the grid increasingly clean in Virginia with historic investments in offshore wind and solar,” Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia, said in a statement. “With longer-duration batteries in the mix, this project could be a transformational step forward, helping us safely discharge stored energy when it is needed most by our customers.”
In their filing with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Baine and his team say that, if approved, they plan to spend $91 million to install a 4.9 MW/494 MWh Form system and a 4 MW/16 MWh Eos project as well as two separate battery storage systems elsewhere (one lithium-ion, the other nickel-hydrogen made by EnerVenue and planned to integrate with a Dominion customer’s systems) that have a combined 3.4 MW/18.8 MWh capacity.
The three projects will more than double Dominion’s battery storage network to about 28.3 MW and, if approved by next spring, would come to market between fall 2025 and the end of 2027. Construction on the Form/Eos pilot would begin late next year and wrap up about two years later. Dominion also is developing three other storage facilities, one of them at Dulles International Airport.
Form has signed several other deals with utilities, among them a contract to supply Xcel Energy Inc. with two 10 MW/1,000 MWh systems for retiring coal plant sites in Colorado and Minnesota. Xcel Chairman, President and CEO Bob Frenzel said in January that, if those projects prove their worth, he could see Xcel investing in “several 100” sites over the next decade.
Shares of Dominion (Ticker: D) were changing hands Sept. 22 at $47.45, up slightly on the day. Over the past six months, they have lost more than 10% of their value, trimming the company’s market capitalization to about $40 billion.