Eos Energy Storage (“Eos”) – pioneer of the safe, ultra-low cost Znyth battery – today announced that Jim Hughes, former CEO of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), has joined as Chairman of the Board to guide the company’s transition from technology development to commercial manufacturing and product deployment. The wealth of knowledge and experience Hughes brings from his time at the helm of First Solar – a pivotal player in the creation of utility-scale solar energy – will be invaluable during this important stage in Eos’ growth.
The appointment of Hughes as Chairman of the Board comes on the heels of the company’s announcement of a $23M Series D equity financingand commencement of volume battery production with a multi-billion dollar contract manufacturing partner capable of meeting 100+ MW per year demand.
“The tremendous progress made on cost over the last several years leaves energy storage looking remarkably similar to the solar industry around 5 years ago,” observed Jim Hughes. “The cost reductions have been so rapid that I don’t think the broader energy industry yet recognizes the value it will represent as part of the system and that the economics of energy storage are not only competitive but have the near term potential to be disruptive. Eos has focused on developing a technology and product that outcompetes the lithium ion incumbent, not just on dollar per kWh upfront capital cost but on the lifetime cost of energy delivered. This is going to give Eos the ability to win significant market share and drive profitability. A sharp focus on cost, quality and challenging yourself to beat the toughest competition has proven to be a winning strategy time and again both in traditional energy and renewables. Much as First Solar has proven that it can compete effectively with its differentiated thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) modules against the leading players in crystalline silicon PV, I firmly believe Eos will demonstrate the same ability within the energy storage arena with its differentiated zinc hybrid (Znyth) technology.”
During his four years as CEO of First Solar, Hughes managed the company from a $450M loss in the first quarter of 2012 to a $171M profit in the first quarter of 2016. Also during that time, the company set new records for solar cell efficiency, made fundamental changes to power plant architecture, continued to drive down solar costs, and expanded module manufacturing to support an industry-leading over 13GW installed base.
Eos is poised to make a similar impact with safe, robust and cost effective energy storage on the grid. The company’s core product—the Eos Aurora® 1000│4000—is a 1MW|4MWh DC battery system employing Eos’ aqueous, zinc-based Znyth technology. The Eos Aurora is being sold today at $160 per usable kWh with performance guarantees supporting up to 20 years of continuous operation with minimal maintenance. For the first time, Eos batteries are offering utilities an economic alternative to gas-peakers and conventional distribution system upgrades.
“We are honored to work with Jim Hughes,” said Eos CEO Michael Oster. “We have watched Jim take First Solar through market uncertainty to global leadership and profitability; We look forward to benefiting from his guidance and experience as we ramp up into volume manufacturing and utility-scale deployment.”
Eos has partnered with utilities such as Con Edison of New York, Engie, and Pacific Gas & Electric to test and validate product while preparing for larger-scale deployments. In late 2015, Eos batteries were selected for a 10MW|40MWh project with Pacific Gas & Electric to provide locational capacity and grid reliability. Eos is now working through a pipeline of qualified inquiries of over $5B from customers on six continents.