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Energy Commission Receives Thank You from Former Start-up



The California Energy Commission recently received a thank you note for helping a Bay Area start-up company springboard into the global energy storage market.

Primus Power CEO Tom Stepien thanked the Energy Commission for a $1 million grant that his company received from the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program in 2011 to develop and field test a low-cost, 25-megawatt energy storage system.



Primus, which is based in Hayward, developed what it calls an EnergyPod, which is a series of refrigerator-sized flow battery modules housed in stackable shipping containers. Last year, the company installed its first EnergyPod at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar. The 280-kilowatt (kW) system operates as a microgrid providing energy assurance to the base and integrating renewable energy from the installation’s 230-kW solar generating system into the electrical grid.

The success of the company’s system has led to additional grants and private investments. Primus employs 30 full-time employees in California and Asia and has partnerships with some of the world’s leading electric component and power delivery companies.

Since receiving the Energy Commission grant, Primus has:
  • Designed a second generation system with additional power, greater energy, and lower cost
  • Received 25 patents issued by seven countries. 
  • Installed its energy storage system for industrial customers throughout California.
  • Gone international, installing its storage systems in Kazakhstan and signed an agreement with an Israeli manufacturer that installed the technology at a production site in Rancho Cucamonga.
“Your funding has greatly assisted Primus. Thank you,” Stepien wrote in his note to the Energy Commission. “Together, we are creating new jobs, helping California achieve its energy goals and creating a cleaner, more reliable and more efficient electric grid.”

You are quite welcome!

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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