On Monday, Portland-Oregon-based flow battery manufacturer ESS announced that it has joined Power Africa, a U.S. government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as a private sector partner. ESS is the program’s first flow battery partner.
As part of the partnership, the company said it has committed to deploying its long-duration energy storage solutions for microgrid and utility-scale projects throughout the continent.
Power Africa works with African governments and coordinates the efforts of 12 U.S. government agencies, 18 bilateral and multilateral partners, and nearly 150 private companies to remove barriers that impede energy development in sub-Saharan Africa. It was launched in 2013 with the goal of increasing access and availability of electric power throughout sub-Saharan Africa – where two out of three residents lack this basic service.
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Power Africa is working to add more than 30,000 MW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections, and considerable progress has already been made toward this goal. As of May 2019, Power Africa has completed 121 transactions totaling over 10,000 MW. While these numbers reflect closed deals, Power Africa is internally tracking over 900 transactions that have the potential to add over 84,000 MW of energy capacity.
“We are excited to become a partner of the Power Africa program,” said Craig Evans, founder and CEO of ESS Inc. “Our low cost, long-duration and long-life battery is especially suited for the needs of the African market, particularly in microgrid, renewable integration and utility grid strengthening applications.”