Silver Spring Networks founder sees promise long-duration energy storage with iron-flow batteries

Iron-flow battery provider appoints Eric Dresselhuys as CEO; company expected to go public later this year, trading under the symbol GWH

Last month ESS Inc., a manufacturer of long-duration iron flow batteries for commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications, announced the appointment of Eric Dresselhuys as Chief Executive Officer. Dresselhuys will guide the company through its next phase of growth as it expands its market presence and joins the global effort to decarbonize our energy systems.

Prior to joining ESS, Dresselhuys served in a variety of roles in both public and private companies. In 2002, he co-founded Silver Spring Networks, a leader in smart grid networking and data solutions. His 15-year tenure there included a variety of executive roles leading to its initial public offering on the NYSE and eventual sale to Itron, Inc. He has also held leadership positions at consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, and at Smart Energy Water, a software-as-a-service platform for the energy, water and utility sector, among others.

Dresselhuys currently serves as Chairman of Enian, Ltd., which builds data-driven software products for renewable energy professionals, and he is on the Board of Directors of Autogrid Systems, Inc., a provider of software products and services that analyze smart meter and energy usage information for utilities.

“I believe that long-duration energy storage is one of the most important developments in our global effort to create a cleaner, more sustainable energy system,” stated Dresselhuys in a press release.

“I am confident that Eric is a great addition to the ESS team and will lead the company to success in this next chapter of growth,” said Michael Niggli, ESS Board Chairman. “Eric recognizes the enormous opportunity in pairing our long-duration storage solutions with renewable energy in a decarbonized world, and his decades-long commitment to a clean energy future aligns perfectly with the mission of ESS. He has proven his ability to leverage breakthrough technologies to transform the energy industry and we look forward to seeing his leadership and vision shape our path forward.”

Craig Evans, co-founder and former CEO of ESS, will remain as company president. He will lead several key functional areas, including engineering, R&D and manufacturing, helping to accelerate the next-generation of product advancements.

In related news, ESS announced it has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with ACON S2 Acquisition Corp; upon closing, the combined company expects to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “GWH.”

ESS has developed a what it says is a low-cost, long-duration storage battery engineered to support renewables and stabilize the electrical grid. Built from earth-abundant materials, the ESS solution can be deployed in a wide variety of environments, can operate across a wide temperature range and poses no explosion risk, according to ESS.

Disrupting a large and fast-growing market, ESS is valued at approximately $1.1 billion, offering investors an attractive opportunity to invest in a high-growth, genuinely sustainable business that enables our renewable future, said the company.

The business combination is expected to provide approximately $465 million in net proceeds to the combined company (assuming no redemptions), including a $250 million fully committed PIPE from top-tier institutional investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, primarily to fund manufacturing expansion to 16 GWh across three continents.

Additionally, existing investors SB Energy (SoftBank Group Corp.), Breakthrough Energy Ventures and BASF have also participated in the PIPE, increasing their existing equity holdings in ESS, and plan to continue their successful long-term partnership with ESS.

Source: Renewable Energy