ESS Celebrates a Year of Progress Since Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

August 24, 2023

Chicago skyline at night image
By Eric Dresselhuys, CEO

Last week, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Action (IRA) at ESS. Clean Energy for America joined us to host U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the architect of many of the clean energy provisions of the IRA, and Dr. Christopher Saldaña, Director of the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies office at the U.S. Department of Energy, at our Oregon headquarters. 

The opportunities presented by the IRA are becoming clearer as rulemaking and guidance are issued by federal agencies. At ESS, we’re hard at work preparing to meet growing demand for long-duration energy storage, expected to accelerate further in coming years thanks to the climate and energy portions of the IRA. Last week, we shared our progress in manufacturing and discussed the potential impact of the IRA on the country’s energy landscape with our guests. 

Over the past year, we have been working to drive productivity, quality and cost reductions in our manufacturing process as we scale up to meet growing demand. We also commissioned the first fully-automated manufacturing line at our Oregon facility. Using advanced manufacturing technology, we expect to expand our annual production capacity up to 2 GWh in Wilsonville. We were pleased to show our guests the new assembly line in action, building consistent, high-quality battery modules that are at the heart of ESS systems.   

We’ll need that capacity to meet projected demand for long-duration energy storage. With the tax incentives contained in the bill, the IRA is already accelerating new project announcements. In the last year, over $270 billion in capital investment has been announced for utility-scale clean energy projects and manufacturing facilities, surpassing total investment in U.S. clean power projects commissioned between 2015-2022.   

As intended by its architects, the benefits of the IRA will be realized not just by manufacturers and project developers, but by communities nationwide. At ESS, we’re proud of the economic benefits that our business delivers. In 2022, ESS drove $170.4 million in economic activity nationwide and supported over 530 direct and indirect jobs while helping customers worldwide safely, sustainably and cost-effectively achieve their climate goals. As we scale our business and the benefits of the IRA continue to accelerate new clean energy projects, we look forward to continuing to deliver on the promise of the bill and play our part to build a sustainable energy economy.  

As more renewable energy is added to the grid, we will need an estimated 30-40 TWh of long-duration energy storage in the US by 2040 to ensure a reliable and resilient clean energy system. We are proud to be meeting this demand with a predominantly domestic supply chain and one of the safest and most sustainable battery technologies on the market.  

There’s much work to be done to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and the Inflation Reduction Act will be a key tool to get us there. At ESS, we remain committed to strengthening America’s leadership in developing and deploying the technology that will underpin the global clean energy transition.  

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