Distributed Energy

ESS INC. Partners with Munich RE to Launch Industry-First Insurance Coverage for Flow Batteries

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Company’s long-duration storage solution now backed by full 10-year performance guarantee

PORTLAND, OREGON – March 7, 2019 – ESS Inc., the leading manufacturer of safe, low-cost and long-duration energy storage systems, announced that it is now including 10-year insurance coverage on its long-duration energy storage products through Munich Re, one of the world’s leading insurance companies. The innovative policy provides warranty backstop for ESS Inc.’s proprietary flow battery technology, supporting the system performance guarantee regardless of project size or location.

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ESS Inc. has also collaborated with Munich Re to develop a separate Project Cover to ensure a bankable product offering. The Cover directly addresses technology risk and business continuity risk, and can be extended in order to provide long-term assurance of project performance to system owners, investors and lenders in the energy sector.

“As a leader in the long-duration energy storage industry, we’re constantly looking to innovate and break ground on new programs that increase confidence in our utility-scale storage solutions. We are pleased to now offer a comprehensive insurance policy on all future projects, backed by another industry leader, Munich Re,” said Craig Evans, founder and CEO of ESS Inc. “This policy is a game changer for both our company and our products. Customers can now deploy our flow batteries with greater confidence in securing financing, system operations, and successful performance outcomes.”

“We stand firmly behind ESS Inc.’s flow battery technology as a proven solution for long-duration energy storage at commercial and utility scale,” said Michael Schrempp, global head of green tech solutions at Munich Re. “Our goal in providing a comprehensive policy is to enable ESS Inc. to expand deployment of its solution at scale globally.”

About Munich Re

Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. The group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the capital investment company MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals. 

About ESS Inc.

Established in 2011, ESS Inc. develops and manufactures the low-cost, long-duration Energy Warehouseä (EWä) flow battery for commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications requiring 4+ hours of flexible energy capacity and 25+ years of operating life with no capacity fade. The EW utilizes earth-abundant iron, salt, and water for the electrolyte. Backed by a 10-year performance guarantee through Munich Re, it delivers an environmentally safe, long-life energy storage solution for the world’s renewable energy infrastructure with the lowest levelized cost of storage per kWh. For more information, visit www.essinc.com.

EMBARGOED UNTIL 3/7:Battery performance now insurable – Innovative Munich Re coverage paves the way for renewable energy

Peter Röder, Member of the Board of Management at Munich Re: “The ability to insure battery performance is a key piece of the puzzle in decarbonising our energy sector. For the first time, battery manufacturers can insure against the risk of their products not delivering as promised. With this new coverage, Munich Re has again demonstrated its pioneering role in the insurance of climate-friendly technology.”

§  World’s first long-term insurance for battery performance
§  Munich Re covers manufacturer performance warranties for 10 years
§  US battery manufacturer ESS Inc. is the first customer

Munich Re is the world’s first insurer to offer a product that covers battery performance. The product allows manufacturers in the booming battery market to offer long-term performance guarantees – whose value is backed by insurance coverage.

The new coverage allows battery manufacturers to insure their customer warranties. For example, if the repair or replacement costs of defective or weak battery modules exceed a predetermined amount, the insurance then covers the rest. Manufacturers can thus unburden their balance sheets.

It will also become easier to obtain project financing, because the maximum costs for any warranties are capped by the insurance cover. This constitutes a distinguishing feature for investors. The product makes it significantly easier for manufacturers to ramp up deployment of battery capacities, thus making renewable energy more dependable and widely available.

The coverage can optionally be expanded to protect selected investment projects directly, so that the insurance will pay even if the manufacturer who issued the warranty files for insolvency within the warranty period.

The insurance cover is primarily aimed at major projects, such as those to ensure grid stability or to cover peak demand periods. In a second phase, the product will be introduced onto the mobility market, for example to insure performance of batteries in electric vehicles.

The first customer for the new insurance product is the US battery manufacturer ESS Inc. (www.essinc.com), whose redox flow batteries will now be sold with Munich Re’s performance warranty cover. ESS produces stationary battery modules that allow energy from solar parks and network operators to be stored over long periods.

Munich Re is a world leader in the development of new insurance solutions for climate-friendly technologies. In addition to its new battery performance insurance, Munich Re has been offering performance coverage in other areas of the renewable energy sector for several years, for example for solar and wind parks and fuel cells. 

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