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Form Energy To Build Batteries For California Project In Weirton

A rendering of a solar and battery storage site.Form Energy

Weirton’s Form Energy will build storage batteries for a project in California.

Form Energy will supply iron oxide batteries for a Pacific Gas & Electric energy storage project in Mendocino County.

The $30 million project will use Form’s batteries to store and discharge power for 100 hours, according to the California Energy Commission.

That fills a gap between solar generation during the day and wind generation at night. The energy captured at off-peak times can be discharged to the grid when demand is the highest.

The batteries will be built in Weirton. The plant is under construction and will begin producing batteries next year.

Iron oxide batteries use rust to store electricity and cost less than lithium ion technology. California has set a goal for 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

“A multiday battery system is transformational for California’s energy mix,” said David Hochschild, chairman of the California Energy Commission. “This project will enhance our ability to harness excess renewables during nonpeak hours for use during peak demand, especially as we work toward a goal of 100 percent clean electricity.”

According to the commission, California had 6,600 megawatts of battery storage in August, with four to six hours of discharge. Long-duration discharge is considered eight to 100 hours.

Form Energy is building its plant on the former site of Weirton Steel and could employ 750 workers or more.