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Natron Energy awarded $3M by California Energy Commission to pair energy storage with EV fast charging

Natron Energy, a developer of new battery cell technology based on Prussian Blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte, has (earlier post), has been awarded a $3-million grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for “Advanced Energy Storage for Electric Vehicle Charging Support.” Natron will utilize the funds to manufacture and install a high powered, long cycle life energy storage system at an EV Fast Charging station.

The project will result in a cost-competitive, at-scale alternative to Li-ion batteries, and offer superior performance for the high-power/short-duration dispatch and long cycle life requirements of the EV Fast Charging market.

Natron’s patented technology uses Prussian Blue pigment which stores and releases energy in the form of sodium ions. Unlike electrode materials found in most Lithium-ion batteries, Prussian blue enjoys widespread availability and low cost that make batteries using Prussian blue electrodes economical, safe, and environmentally friendly.

Meeting California’s goal of 5 million EVs by 2030 and electrifying rideshare (SB 1014) will require a significant acceleration in the deployment of EV charging infrastructure, particularly workplace and EV Fast Charging stations. Energy storage made from Prussian blue chemistry is more cost-effective and durable than the prevalent battery chemistry of Lithium-ion.

Natron says that its Prussian blue technology advantages can address the market’s primary business challenges, including:

  • Expensive utility distribution upgrade and customer interconnection costs at higher concentration and charging levels;

  • High and uncertain customer bills with demand charges; and

  • Maximizing the number and level of chargers at each site given escalating customer acquisition and site preparation costs.

The system will be installed on the University of California San Diego’s campus.

In January, Natron Energy closed a strategic investment by Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) to support the development of stationary energy storage systems for demand charge management at electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

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