Zinc8 Energy Solutions President & CEO Ron MacDonald
Q. What is your current view of the energy storage market globally and what are the drivers of growth in this market?
A. We are seeing an accelerating growth of renewables worldwide to solve our climate crisis problem. Efficient and economic energy storage is the solution for solving the intermittency of wind and solar energy resources, as well as increasing the efficiency of transmission and distribution on the grid. Up until now, we have used existing shortduration technologies, such as lithium-ion and gas peaking plants to try and balance the grid. However, with the rapid movement away from GHG producing power generation and the move towards electrification of the world’s billions of vehicles, there is a need for new, innovative and cost effective 8+ hrs. long-duration energy storage. We at Zinc8 Energy Solutions believe we are that technology.
Q. Tell us about Zinc8 Energy Solutions and its Zinc-Air Battery Technology
A. Zinc8 Energy Solutions represents a team of engineers who have put more than a decade of work in making the battery of the future. Simply put, it took a lot of time, dedication and innovation to get to where we are today, the lowest cost long-duration battery in the market. After many iterations to our technology, we have developed a battery that uses abundant and affordable materials, which provides flexibility and scalability without volatile or controversial supply chains. Our battery’s architecture provides the same flexibility of redox flow batteries, but at a fraction of the cost.
Q. What makes your Zinc8 ‘Zinc-Air Battery’ technology unique in the global marketplace?
A.The long-duration energy storage market is new and there are a number of innovative and interesting technologies currently under development to address this market. Unfortunately, many of them still have technical and cost limitations that need to be addressed in order to become a viable economic solution at this time. Zinc8 Energy Solutions is bringing to market a battery that can serve a wide range of storage durations on a flexible scale, from kilowatts to the order of megawatts. Our technology is mature, and our economics allow support the expansion of the long-duration storage market.
Q. What segments of the market do you think will be the first to adopt your technology?
A. Long-duration storage provides economic value at all levels of the electric grid, such as in front or behind-the meter applications, islanded microgrids and maximizing the efficiency of transmission and distribution systems. I believe it is too early to guess which applications will be the first adopters, but the interest shown and commitment to long duration storage goals by utility companies like the New York Power Authority (NYPA), would suggest a rapid escalation of investments into this sector.
Q. Explain your strategy for taking Zinc8 Energy Solutions from pre-commercialization to volume manufacturing?
A. We believe the early deployments in our collaboration with NYPA and other partners, will provide the data required for the financial markets to support the investments essential to building out our fabricating and manufacturing facilities over the next 24 - 36 months.
Q. You recently announced a collaboration to deploy your Zinc-Air Battery in New York State with The New York Power Authority, explain the significance of this collaboration for Zinc8 Energy Solutions.
A. The significance is that this award was won through a competitive process for non-lithium 8+hrs energy storage solutions. As the winner of the New York Power Authority’s Innovation Challenge, Zinc8 Energy Solutions in collaboration and with financial support from NYPA will deploy the first use of a Zinc-Air Energy Storage System in New York State. For a small company such as Zinc8 Energy solutions to be selected by the largest public and most progressive Power Authority in the United States, validates both our technology and our belief that the long-duration energy storage market presents a new trillion-dollar opportunity for a company like ours to participate in.