- The New York Power Authority (NYPA) last week announced plans to install a demonstration zinc-air energy storage system, with developer Zinc8 Energy Solutions.
- The 100 kW/1 MWh project stems from a competitive "innovation challenge" conducted by NYPA last year, and will serve as back-up power for grid-level demand, according to a press release.
- The zinc-air project is part of the effort to meet New York's long-term energy goals, NYPA Director of Research, Technology Development and Innovation Alan Ettlinger told Utility Dive. The state is aiming to install 3 GW of energy storage by 2030 and generate 100% of its electricity using zero-carbon sources by 2040.
Lithium-ion batteries currently dominate the battery storage market, but zinc-air technology has its own appeal — especially since it's inexpensive, made with widely abundant materials, and is easy to dispose of, according to Jason Burwen, vice president of policy at the Energy Storage Association.
"Zinc is pretty low when it comes to toxicity. So that impact on both cost and the handling and ultimate disposal of batteries makes it so that there's a reason why folks are really interested to push zinc forward," he told Utility Dive.