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   World's Largest Vanadium Flow Battery Goes Online At Gills Onions Processing Facility
by Gills Onions
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 at 8:54AM EDT

BETHESDA, MD – The largest flow battery system in the world, capable of storing and delivering grid-scale power instantaneously, has received permission to operate from the local utility and will begin full operation in the weeks ahead, announced Prudent Energy, the manufacturer of the VRB® Energy Storage System. The project’s commissioning marks a significant point in the deployment of large-scale electricity storage systems and will be used to expand onsite power generation at an agricultural processing facility in California owned by Gills Onions, a leader in sustainability, innovation, and technology.

“This project unleashes the power of energy storage for industrial companies and the grid of the future. It proves that multi-megawatt-hour VRB® systems can be delivered today. We expect dramatic benefits for a company like Gills Onions, to help them manage their operating costs,” said Prudent Energy Senior Vice President Jeff Pierson.

“Prudent Energy storage is clean, quiet and safe, making it an attractive, sustainable solution for onsite power generators like us. We are impressed with the innovative technology behind Prudent’s Vanadium flow battery, and are excited to be the first company in the United States to deploy a VRB® system on this scale,” said Steve Gill, Owner/Partner of Gills’ Onions.
“Lower Utility Bills on a Sustainable Basis”

One of the VRB® system’s obvious benefits is that it allows Gills Onions to reduce utility bills by storing electricity when rates are lowest and delivering that electricity during expensive peak rate periods. Electricity prices increase during high use periods, especially for six hours in the afternoon when the local utility, Southern California Edison, must call on peaking generators to meet demand. That additional cost of electricity production is passed to the customer via Time of Use (TOU) rates.

Although Gills Onions generates a significant portion of its own electricity, it still depends every day on the local utility. Enter Prudent. By charging the VRB-ESS® typically at night, then discharging that power during the afternoon peak period, Gills reasoned it can substantially lower its power bill each year.

In 2011, Gills Onions was recognized by McDonald’s Corporation on the merits of their sustainability achievements. Proving how important such a commitment is to effective business relations, Gills Onions received McDonald’s annual Innovation Award for its waste-to energy project, including Prudent’s flow battery, a zero waste initiative, and participation in The Climate Registry.

About Gills Onions

Gills Onions is a 29-year old family owned and operated grower and food processor with the most innovative fresh onion processing plant in the world. In concert with sister company Rio Farms, the Gill brothers manage over 17,000 acres of farmland and 300,000 square feet of processing and warehouse facilities. Gills Onions maintains an aggressive strategy to provide customers the highest quality fresh-cut onions with the lowest environmental impact. The company has received numerous local and national awards and recognition for their sustainability efforts. www.gillsonions.com

About Prudent Energy

Prudent Energy is the designer, manufacturer, and integrator of the revolutionary VRB® Energy Storage System. Prudent's VRB-ESS® allows utility customers to balance load, bridge generation, and regulate voltage and frequency – all in one low maintenance system. Prudent also delivers onsite VRB® systems and services to commercial and industrial companies to reduce their operating expenses and provide backup power. Unlike other advanced energy storage systems, Prudent's VRB® is highly scalable, charges and discharges completely without decreasing power capacity, and contains an energy-bearing electrolyte that never wears out. For more information, please visit www.pdenergy.com

Source: Gills Onions


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