Flow-battery builder Imergy Power Systems is working with China's Juno Capital to develop energy storage and backup power for China’s telecommunications market. This phase is a pilot program looking to replace diesel backup at remote telecom equipment sites with vanadium redox batteries.

The Juno Capital Group is an investment company based in Beijing "specializing in bringing financing" and "assisting the cleantech partner to establish a strong strategic foothold in the Chinese market." Juno intends to integrate the flow battery with renewable energy for "off- and weak-grid telecommunications installations across China."

SunEdison has pledged to buy up to 1,000 of Imergy's 30-kilowatt flow batteries as part of its goal of bringing power to 20 million people by 2020. 

Bill Watkins is the CEO of this startup, which now has to deliver on the largest flow-battery order to date. Imergy has around 110 units in the field. The Imergy product can provide from two to 12 hours of output duration.

Imergy, formerly known as Deeya, has raised more than $100 million from Technology Partners, New Enterprise Associates, DFJ, BlueRun Ventures and SunEdison. The company pivoted from its original iron-chromium chemistry to a refinement of a vanadium-electrolyte technology licensed from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Remote telecom sites in China or India have long been targets for flow batteries as diesel replacements. Imergy Power Systems' COO Tim Hennessy told GTM that Imergy flow batteries paired with solar can deliver electricity in Hawaii for 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Diesel-generated electricity in the developing world costs around 50 cents, as opposed to 10 cents for combined PV and Imergy storage, according to GTM's reporting.

Jack Stark, Imergy CFO, told GTM, "If there's a need for discharge duration in excess of two hours or for a relatively fast charge or multiple cycles, no other battery can do those things well, and it's in those markets that we will thrive."
As far as revenue is concerned, Stark said, "The home run is demand charges, energy and the SGIP, and then add on aggregation of storage assets." 

GTM Squared, GTM's new premium service, is taking a deeper look at flow batteries in a just-published first installment of a three-part series.