Urban Electric Power and Pine Gate Renewables partner to expand solar-tied and freestanding energy storage across the U.S.

June 07, 2022 3 min read

Initial 4,550 MWh deal takes major step towards utility-scale adoption of rechargeable zinc alkaline battery systems as an alternative to lithium and lead cells.


Pearl River, New York, and Asheville, North Carolina, May 16, 2022—Urban Electric Power and Pine Gate Renewables announced they have signed an Memorandum of Understanding for Urban Electric Power to supply an initial 4,550 MWh of its rechargeable zinc alkaline batteries over the next five years to Pine Gate Renewables for their growing pipeline of solar-coupled and standalone energy storage projects across the country.    


One of the leading solar and energy storage developers in the country, Pine Gate has over 1 GW of operating solar assets in the country with over 16 GW in active development, including hybrid, standalone solar, and standalone energy storage projects across the country. This agreement allows Pine Gate access to Urban Electric Power batteries each year, under preferential terms, that will enable their customers the freedom to choose a technology that meets long-term reliability, energy and capacity needs.


Urban Electric Power’s patented technology tweaks the chemistry of the familiar household AA battery to make it rechargeable. This enables safer, more affordable energy storage solutions, which the New York-based company offers under the Ohm label to homes and commercial and industrial customers, and to utility-scale infrastructure projects branded as Zeus. The batteries are assembled at its factory in Pearl River, New York, creating U.S. manufacturing jobs in a fast-growing industry.


The zinc alkaline cells avoid several issues, that are otherwise known challenges with other battery chemistries including lithium — such as high integration costs, short and uncertain supply, geopolitical complications, and tendency to fuel fires that are hard to extinguish, a problem known as thermal runaway.


The Urban Electric Power products are certified to UL standards as not subject to thermal runaway, meaning they are fire-safe for indoor installations in cities. They contain no cobalt, whose mining in Africa carries human rights concerns; nor lead, which is responsible for exposing 1 in 3 children worldwide to lead poisoning.


Under development since 2012 by researchers at City College of New York, the rechargeable zinc alkaline technology has already been tested and proven for large-scale uses such as in the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and at commercial-industrial locations to offer backup power and dispatchable energy storage to the power grid.


​““As we phase out fossil fuels and add distributed renewables, demand will only grow for replacing old battery technology with cost-effective energy storage that is safer, longer-lasting, and more environmentally friendly,” said Ann Marie Augustus, Urban Electric Power’s Vice President of Operations. “We offer non-toxic, utility-scale battery energy storage with no thermal runaway fire risk, at a cost and environmental footprint less than standard lithium-ion or lead batteries.”


Pine Gate Renewables is a leading renewable energy company focused on project development and strategic financing of solar and storage projects throughout the United States. The company’s Pine Gate Impact initiative contributes to multiple non-profit organizations aimed at improving the environment and local communities. Headquartered in Asheville, NC, Pine Gate Renewables made the Inc. 5000 list in 2021, placing at #37 and named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list in 2021. Pine Gate Renewables works every day to achieve its mission to “Get Solar Done.” For more information, visit pinegaterenewables.com


“We’re excited to partner with Urban Electric Power to bring zinc alkaline batteries, a familiar household item, and apply it towards grid-connected utility scale applications for our customers across the United States,” said Raafe Khan, Director of Energy Storage at Pine Gate Renewables. “We are committed to supporting our partners and customers with safe, domestically manufactured, scalable, reliable, and durable solutions that they can connect with for their storage needs. This is just the start of an exciting journey ahead for both organizations and we look forward to working with the Urban Electric Power team in building a sustainable energy storage ecosystem so that our customers can live their lives uninterrupted.”


To learn more about Urban Electric Power’s rechargeable alkaline battery technology, see https://urbanelectricpower.com

To set up an interview with one of its engineers, journalists may contact Peter Kelley at peter@renewcomm.com, +1 202-270-8831.