Bethesda, Md., March 9, 2011 — Prudent Energy won a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission, in cooperation with SunPower Corp., Pacific Gas and Electric, KEMA, and Sandia National Laboratories of the U.S. Department of Energy, to build and operate a VRB-ESS with SunPower's photovoltaic systems.
Prudent's flow battery system works like a rechargeable fuel cell, where chemical energy is converted to electrical energy at a moment's notice.
In particular, Prudent's VRB-ESS will help SunPower's commercial customers reduce their energy costs by drawing on stored power during those few hours each day when the sun goes down, but electricity usage and rates remain high. The system is thus expected to substantially improve the economics of distributed solar energy technologies.
"We are very excited to join SunPower, the CPUC, DOE, PG&E, and our other partners in this project," said Jeff Pierson, Prudent Energy's senior vice president. "Prudent's Vanadium Redox Battery is an excellent fit in the distributed solar market. We expect to give California ratepayers what they want most — major savings on their electric utility bills."
Prudent Energy is responsible for a 100 kW, 300 kWh turn-key VRB-ESS, scheduled for completion this fall. The location has not been announced. The project comes on the heels of another recent announcement that Prudent Energy was building and operating a 600 kW, 3.6 MWh VRB-ESS facility at Gills Onions in Oxnard, California.