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Redflow Limited (ASX: RFX), a renowned global player in clean energy storage, has been granted funding by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a pioneering 34.4 MWh long-duration energy storage (LDES) microgrid venture. The project, known as the Children’s Hospital Resilient Grid with Energy Storage (CHARGES), is set to revolutionize energy resilience at the Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, and potentially serve as a blueprint for hospitals and vital infrastructure nationwide.
The CHARGES project has been endorsed by the DOE, as part of its $325 million LDES program, which aims to propel vital clean energy technologies, enhance the adoption of renewable energy resources, and bolster America’s energy security. The announcement was made on September 22, marking a significant milestone in the advancement of sustainable energy solutions. The CHARGES project will replace diesel generators with cleaner, cost-effective solutions, offering a blueprint for nationwide critical infrastructure upgrades. Redflow and its project development partner, Faraday Microgrids will collaborate on the project, expected to receive sponsorship and co-funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC).
The Valley Children’s Hospital, situated in California’s Central Valley, is the exclusive full-service pediatric facility in the region and routinely faces severe challenges, including extreme heat conditions, droughts, coastal smog, and poor air quality. With the installation of the 34.4 MWh long-duration energy storage and solar microgrid, the hospital will be empowered to better cater to the needs of its residents, even during power interruptions. Additionally, this venture represents a crucial stride towards achieving California’s goal of installing 45-55 GW of long-duration energy storage by 2045 to bolster grid reliability and promote the clean energy transition.
Redflow CEO and Managing Director, Tim Harris, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “Our batteries are ideally suited for daily use in the Central Valley’s extreme heat, and we’re proud to provide the resources the hospital needs to ensure safe, reliable operations. This combination of our technology leadership, Faraday’s trusted microgrid solutions, and the funding provided by the CEC and DOE all assist in transitioning communities to a cleaner, more energy-efficient future. We are delighted to see another project from our fast-growing pipeline of opportunities progress forward and ultimately support another community with renewable energy.”
The system’s primary purpose is to maintain essential hospital operations during utility outages or shortages that are not earthquake-related. In the event of mandatory natural gas or fuel cell shutdowns during seismic events, the systems will ensure facility operations for at least 18 hours post-earthquake. In addition to Redflow batteries, the microgrid will integrate other renewable energy resources to facilitate decarbonization, reduce operational costs for the hospital, provide a robust infrastructure for the hospital during natural disasters and power outages, and offer overall grid benefits.
Faraday CEO, David Bliss, expressed confidence in the project, saying, “We’ve set strong performance goals for this installation. Our team is looking forward to building upon our partnership with Redflow to deliver this and other projects, such as the 20 MWh battery and 5 MW solar microgrid for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians. We’re confident in our partnership’s capabilities to successfully deliver large, resilient, dispatchable 24/7 clean energy microgrids to health care facilities, tribes, and other large grid customers throughout California and the United States.”