December 2011

Inc. Magazine

Power Grab

To make the most of solar wind power, utilities need an affordable way to store energy for later use.  Aquion of Pittsburgh says it has developed a low-cost, longer-lasting alternative to existing storage options, including lithium-ion batteries.  Aquion's battery stores electricity using sodium, which is safer and more abundant than lithium.  As a result, storage costs about $300 per killowatt-hour, roughly one-third the price of stoarge with lithium-ion batteries.  The battery can also last up to five times as long as lithium batteries, because its electrodes are made from thicker wafers.  Aquion, which recently received a $5 million grant from the US Department of Energy, hopes to begin selling the batteries to solar-power companies by summer 2001 and eventually supply them to other utilities.