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ESS Inc. Welcomes Raffi Garabedian to Board of Directors

Former First Solar CTO brings years of industry knowledge to long-duration battery storage company 

Wilsonville, OR – February 23, 2021: ESS Inc., a manufacturer of long-duration iron-based flow batteries for commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications, announces the addition of renewable energy industry veteran Raffi Garabedian to their board of directors.

Prior to joining the ESS board, Garabedian had a distinguished career in the solar industry, where he was a key member of First Solar’s executive team during a period of precipitous and industry-leading growth. Most recently, Garabedian served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer from 2012 through 2020.

Garabedian joined First Solar in 2008 as Director of Disruptive Technologies and was promoted to VP of Advanced Technology two years later. During this time, he oversaw the company’s advanced research and development during a period of dramatic industry expansion. When he assumed the role of CTO in 2012, his focus shifted to cadmium telluride technology development. Over the next few years, First Solar would experience remarkable demand for its photovoltaic products and services, growing its global installed base more than eleven-fold, from 1.5 GW to over 17 GW.

Prior to First Solar, Garabedian spent over 15 years in the semiconductor and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) industries, where he developed and manufactured new technology products ranging from automotive sensors to telecommunications switching systems. He holds over 20 issued patents and has deep experience in strategy, product development, engineering, manufacturing technology, management and team building. He also founded Touchdown Technologies, where he served as its CEO.

“I am excited to join ESS’s Board of Directors at a time when the energy storage and renewables industries are poised for unprecedented growth,” stated Garabedian. “Having worked with utility-scale solar for much of my career, I know firsthand the need for long-duration storage to support deployment of large renewable resources. ESS’s sustainable iron flow battery technology is the cleanest, lowest-cost long-duration storage system available, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to add my expertise and experience to the company.”

“We are honored to have Raffi join our team,” said Craig Evans, ESS Inc. President and CEO. “His leadership played an integral part in First Solar’s success and we are glad to have him on board as our company continues to advance – most recently with the launch of our latest storage solution, the Energy Center. His knowledge of utility-scale solar will help guide us forward.”

Garabedian will join ESS board members that include: Mike Niggli, Chairman; Rich Hossfeld, SVP of Strategy and Investments at SoftBank Energy; Shirley Speakman of Cycle Capital; Kyle Teamey, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).

About ESS, Inc.

ESS Inc. designs, builds and deploys the most environmentally sustainable, lowest-cost, iron flow batteries for long-duration commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications requiring from 4 to 16 hours of flexible energy capacity. The Energy WarehouseTM and Energy CenterTM use earth-abundant iron, salt, and water for the electrolyte, resulting in an environmentally benign, long-life energy storage solution for the world’s renewable energy infrastructure. Established in 2011, ESS Inc. enables project developers, utilities, and commercial and industrial facility owners to make the transition to more flexible non-lithium-ion storage that is better suited for the grid and the environment. For more information visit

Media Contact:                                                                  

Gene Hunt
Trevi Communications, Inc.
978.750.0333 x.101

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