World-first thermal energy storage gigafactory

Israel-based thermal energy storage firm Brenmiller Energy claims it has created a world-first gigafactory, targeting 4GWh of annual production capacity by the end of 2023.

In early May, Brenmiller Energy announced the opening of its thermal energy storage gigafactory in Dimona, Israel, saying the gigafactory will be its primary manufacturing hub. The company expects production lines to reach full capacity by the end of the year and be able to produce 4GWh of Brenmiller’s bGen modules annually.

The company’s bGen solution is a patented high-temperature thermal energy storage (TES) unit using crushed rocks, which charges by heating the rocks with electrical power, then stores that power at a temperature of 750°C. It then discharges by releasing the accumulated heat to heat pressurised water and generate steam, either for electricity or for industrial heating processes.

The gigafactory’s rooftop solar designed to power its operations has been financed through a US$8.2 million facility agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“The need for energy independence throughout the EU is indisputable,” says , says EIB’s Vice-President Responsible for Energy, Thomas Östros. “Renewables alone, however, will not solve our energy or climate crisis. Long-duration energy storage is critical to back up renewable intermittency, decarbonise our electric grids and industrial factories, and ensure a secure energy supply.

“We’re pleased to have provided financing for Brenmiller’s gigafactory, which will manufacture thermal energy storage technologies that help the EU overcome today’s critical energy challenges.”

Founder and CEO at Brenmiller Energy Avi Brenmiller says unveiling the TES gigafactory marks a pivotal milestone in the company’s history.

“What started as a family business has grown into a company that can help the global economy’s efforts to decarbonise, and we believe our gigawatt-scale production capacity will allow us to meet growing demand for our solutions from industrial and utility customers.”

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