ESS Tech, a leading manufacturer of long-duration energy storage (LDES) systems for commercial and utility-scale applications, has announced that commissioning has been completed on the initial system installed at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

This marks the launch of a project designed to reduce carbon emissions by electrifying ground operations.

The ESS system will enable Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to phase-out polluting diesel ground power units that currently supply electrical power to aircraft while parked at airport gates.

These will be replaced with Electric Ground Power Units (E-GPUs). The electrification of ground operations will reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, providing a model for airports worldwide seeking to reduce the climate impacts of air transportation.

The project at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will support the Royal Schiphol Group’s ambitious climate targets and is supported by the TULIPS consortium. TULIPS is an EU-funded consortium of airports across Europe seeking to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy within Europe’s aviation sector.

“Schiphol intends to be a zero-emission airport by 2030 across our buildings, assets and equipment,” said Oscar Maan, Royal Schiphol Group manager of innovation.

“Cutting edge, clean technology such as ESS’ iron flow battery system enables us to decarbonise ground operations and is a vital step for us to progress towards this sustainable future. As leaders of the TULIPS consortium, we hope this project demonstrates how clean technology can be implemented in the aviation industry throughout Europe.”

Organisations are increasingly turning to LDES solutions, such as ESS’ iron flow technology which powers the Energy Warehouse, that provide increased flexibility and longer design-life than lithium-ion technology.

The project will demonstrate how LDES can enable the electrification of ground support equipment, such as the e-GPUs, while reducing the need to upgrade regional grid infrastructure. ESS’ iron flow technology provides cost-effective LDES ideal for applications that require up to twelve hours of flexible energy capacity. ESS technology was selected due to its inherent fire safety, making it suitable for use in close proximity to passenger aircraft.

“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has set an ambitious goal for decarbonisation and has provided great leadership in taking the necessary actions to make it real,” said Eric Dresselhuys, CEO of ESS.

“This project provides a blueprint for LDES to safely provide clean, reliable energy in airport operations and reduce fossil fuel dependence. This pioneering project will encourage other European airports to follow the TULIPS lead and deploy technologies to achieve climate targets and accelerate air industry decarbonisation.”
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