Brenmiller Energy, an Israeli company, is set to open the world’s first large-scale rock-based thermal energy storage (TES) factory in Dimona, Israel. It will be the largest facility of its kind, and expects to reach an estimated annual production capacity of 4 GWh by the end of this year.
CEO Avi Brenmiller has stated that the company is developing technology capable of handling temperatures up to 760°C in the middle of the desert and is ready to share this knowledge with the world.
Brenmiller has secured a €7.5 million (USD 8.5 million) credit line from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to build the factory. The company’s bGen TES system converts renewable energy into clean steam, hot water, or hot air, assisting industrial factories and power plants in reducing their carbon footprint. The system uses heat to pulverize rocks, storing thermal energy for minutes, hours, or even days, which can be then used for electricity generation or industrial applications.
Furthermore, Brenmiller emphasizes that the bGen system can be maintained cheaply and has a lifespan exceeding 30 years. It offers crucial protection to industrial factories and power plants, shielding them from the intermittent nature of renewable energy and fluctuations in energy market prices while providing uninterrupted 24-hour electric heating.
Brenmiller has also recently partnered with Enel, an Italian energy company, to test a 24 MWh TES for electric heaters and heat storage devices in Italy. And the cost? The company states that its levelized cost of heat (LCOH) depends on the system’s power source, which is typically inexpensive renewable energy. However, given that natural gas prices are currently quite high, the cost can range between USD 30–50/MWh.
(Image Source: Brenmiller)