How Much Is Form Energy Worth?

What is Form Energy?

Form Energy is a startup company founded in 2017 that is developing low-cost, long-duration energy storage batteries. The company is headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts and was founded by MIT professors Yet-Ming Chiang, Mateo Jaramillo, and William Woodford.

Form Energy is focused on developing aqueous air batteries, specifically low-cost iron-air batteries capable of storing electricity for 100 hours or more. Their battery uses iron, salt, water, and air to store energy. This long discharge duration allows the batteries to store electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind for days at a time when generation is plentiful and discharge as needed when generation is low.

The key applications for Form Energy’s long-duration storage batteries are providing reliability for renewable energy assets, replacing fossil fuel peaker plants, and enhancing grid resilience. By enabling renewables to provide power around the clock, Form Energy aims to accelerate the clean energy transition and make renewable energy dispatchable.

Form Energy: We are Transforming the Grid

The Potential of Long-Duration Energy Storage

Long-duration energy storage, often defined as systems capable of storing energy for 10 hours or longer, offers significant potential benefits compared to short-duration batteries like lithium-ion.

Longer discharge durations enable the storage of electricity generated from renewable sources like solar and wind for use when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing. This can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and enable higher penetrations of renewables on the grid (McKinsey).

Long-duration storage can also help stabilize electricity prices by charging when renewable generation is abundant and discharging when it is scarcest. And by ensuring reliable electricity supply during outages, it can improve grid resilience (UCSUSA).

How Form Energy’s Battery Works

Form Energy’s battery technology relies on some common, low-cost materials – iron, air, and water – rather than lithium or cobalt like many other batteries. This makes their batteries much less expensive to produce and safer, since there is no risk of fires. According to Form Energy’s website,, the battery works through a process of reversible rusting or oxidation.

During discharge, the iron inside the battery reacts with oxygen from the air to form rust. This generates electricity that can be used to power the grid. During charging, an electric current reverses the reaction, turning the rust back into iron. Using this process, Form’s batteries can discharge for 100-150 hours, much longer than lithium-ion batteries. As reported by Energy Storage News,, this long duration discharge sets them apart from competitors.

However, there are still some technical challenges Form needs to address. The oxidation reaction can be inefficient, and rust builds up inside the battery over time, limiting its lifespan. Form is working to optimize the materials and design to improve efficiency and longevity before full commercial deployment.

Form Energy’s Pilot Projects and Partnerships

Form Energy has partnered with several utilities and grid operators to deploy pilot projects that will demonstrate the viability of its long-duration battery technology on the electric grid. Some key partnerships include:

In May 2020, Form Energy announced a 1 MW, grid-connected pilot project with Minnesota-based Great River Energy. The project will include a 150 hour battery system to provide continuous power for over 5 days. It is expected to be operational in late 2023.

In January 2024, Form Energy and Puget Sound Energy explored deploying a 10 MW, 100 hour energy storage pilot in Washington state. This project could demonstrate the value of long-duration storage to help integrate renewable energy and improve grid resilience.

In August 2023, Form Energy was awarded a grant to deploy a multi-day battery system in New York, expected to come online in 2026. This project will help New York achieve its aggressive renewable energy goals.

Based on these initial pilots coming online between 2023-2026, Form Energy is targeting broader commercial deployments in the late 2020s if the pilots successfully validate the technology.

Projected Cost Savings

longer discharge batteries like form energy's iron-air can store electricity from renewables for when it's needed most.
Form Energy aims to develop their iron-air battery technology to achieve a levelized cost of storage significantly below $20 per kilowatt-hour. In comparison, lithium-ion batteries currently cost around $150-200 per kWh. By achieving a 10x cost reduction, Form Energy’s batteries could enable substantial savings on electricity prices and grid infrastructure.

One analysis by Form Energy estimated their iron-air batteries could reduce the cost of a decarbonized grid in New York by $3.5 billion annually by 2040. These dramatic savings would come from the ability to shift away from building new peaking power plants and grid assets. Instead, the long-duration batteries can provide reliability services at lower cost.

The pilot projects underway, like the 1MW/150MWh system in Minnesota, will demonstrate these cost savings in real-world conditions. Form Energy is also partnering directly with utilities to quantify the value proposition of their batteries for grid asset deferral. If the pilots succeed, the next step may be deployments of ~20MW systems capable of providing days of backup capacity.


Projected Market Size

The long-duration energy storage market is projected to grow significantly in the coming decades. According to a recent report from the US Department of Energy, the combined stationary and transportation energy storage markets could reach 2.5-4 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually by 2030, growing to a $223 billion global market by 2044 according to analysis from IDTechEx.

Form Energy aims to deploy its first commercial battery system in 2025 with multi-day capacity starting at 1 MW/5 MWh. The company projects reaching gigawatt-hour scale production by 2028. In comparison, the lithium-ion battery market is projected to reach 1,000 GWh annually by 2030 according to BloombergNEF. While still a niche segment, long-duration storage has significant growth potential as renewable energy expands.

Environmental Impact

Iron-air batteries have the potential for a significantly positive environmental impact compared to conventional batteries due to the sustainable materials used. Iron and oxygen from air make up the battery chemistry, unlike lithium-ion batteries that rely on scarce metals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel that require extensive mining operations.

By providing long-duration energy storage, iron-air batteries can enable much higher adoption of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. The intermittent nature of renewables is a major barrier, but the long discharge times from iron-air batteries mean they can store excess renewable energy and dispatch it when needed. This helps phase out fossil fuel plants and enables fully carbon-free electricity.

Iron-air batteries are particularly well suited to replace natural gas peaker plants which operate only during peak demand times. Peaker plants are costly and produce significant carbon emissions. Long-duration batteries can provide the same grid reliability benefits as peaker plants but with zero emissions.

While iron-air batteries have excellent sustainability traits, there are still impacts from manufacturing and end-of-life recycling to consider. Proper battery management and recycling programs will be important as the technology scales up. Overall though, iron-air batteries represent a major sustainability upgrade compared to the dominant lithium-ion chemistry.

Challenges and Limitations

While long-duration energy storage technologies like Form Energy’s iron-air battery offer exciting potential, there remain several key challenges and limitations:

One major hurdle is the remaining technological obstacles. As noted in a NREL report, long-duration storage requires continued innovation to improve round-trip efficiency, degrade performance over cycles, and reduce costs. Form Energy’s technology shows promise but has yet to be deployed at scale.

The high upfront capital costs also pose a barrier. Large-scale storage systems require major initial investments, which can deter adoption. Bringing costs down through R&D, scaling up manufacturing, and policy incentives will be critical.

Additionally, finding suitable locations for the subsurface placement of these large battery arrays presents difficulties. Factors like geology, land ownership, regulations, and proximity to transmission infrastructure must all be considered.

While substantial challenges remain, research institutions and innovative companies like Form Energy are actively working to address these limitations and usher in a new era of renewable energy backed by long-duration storage.

Expert Perspectives and Quotes

Form Energy’s iron-air battery technology has garnered interest from energy storage experts. Jill Cote, an electrical engineer at the Electric Power Research Institute, says “I think it’s potentially game-changing,” adding that the batteries could “provide longer-duration energy storage at a pretty inexpensive capital cost.” 1

Ravi Manghani, head of energy storage at Wood Mackenzie, notes that while lithium-ion batteries work well for short-duration storage, “When it comes to seasonal storage, lithium-ion batteries are simply not economical.” Manghani sees potential for long-duration batteries like Form Energy’s to enable high renewable energy penetration. 1

Form Energy CEO Mateo Jaramillo says their battery is designed to “unlock the potential of renewable energy,” adding that it represents “a dramatic improvement over today’s technologies and will reshape the electric grid for generations.” 2

DeVynne Farquharson, a commercial analyst at Form Energy, notes that the company culture emphasizes collaboration and innovation to tackle global challenges: “At Form Energy, we value integrity, humanity, and commitment to mission. By living our values, we build trust in our relationships with each other and our community.” 3

The Future of Long-Duration Storage

Long-duration energy storage is seen as playing a crucial role in enabling the transition to renewable energy and decarbonizing the grid. According to MIT’s Future of Energy Storage study, long-duration storage can help “ensure reliability, resiliency and affordability during the clean energy transition.”

By storing excess renewable energy when supply exceeds demand and discharging it when needed, long-duration storage can help overcome intermittency issues with renewables and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. The MIT study highlights the potential for long-duration storage to provide stability and flexibility to the grid as renewable penetration increases.

While pumped hydro currently dominates long-duration storage, new technologies like Form Energy’s aqueous air battery are emerging as competitors. The Department of Energy’s Long Duration Storage Shot initiative aims to reduce the cost of long-duration storage technologies by 90% by 2030. If achieved, this cost target could enable wide-scale adoption of long-duration storage.

According to projections by BloombergNEF, the global storage market could grow to over $546 billion by 2040, with over 741 gigawatts of new long-duration storage capacity added. With supportive policies and continued technology advancement, long-duration storage could play a pivotal role in enabling the global energy transition.

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