Australia was the first in the world with a lithium-ion big battery, now North Harbour Clean Energy is promising to build out first big Vanadium Redox Flow Battery.
The company, in a joint venture with international battery company CellCube, today announced their first project is to develop the continent’s largest VRFB, which generates 4MW-16MWh.
The pair also plan to build an assembly and manufacturing line in Eastern Australia to meet GWh demand for long-duration energy storage in the National Electricity Market.
NHCE Managing Director and founder Tony Schultz said it was exciting to bring manufacturing of this Australian-invented and critical energy storage technology to Australia
Schultz said: “NHCE and CellCube will collectively review and select the best site to deliver initial annual production capacity of at least 40MW/160MWh, with a target of 1000MW/8000MWh per year and creating more than 200 new jobs in the short term.
“We believe there are two factors behind our belief that VRFB is the right grid-energy storage technology to install in Australia at scale.
“The first is that VRFB technology, having been developed in Australia at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in the mid-1980’s, is now on the road to being an accepted alternative battery energy storage technology globally while the second is Australia’s abundant vanadium resources.”
UNSW’s Maria Skyllas Kazacos is the pioneer of the batteries, with NHCE and UNSW last year launching a jointly-owned company focussed on further improving the cost and efficiency of this cost-competitive technology.
Redox flow batteries, which offer significant advantages in some uses such as remote locations and mine sites, are not made in Australia, though Australian Vanadium does make the electrolyte locally. (One advantage is the electrolyte does not degrade with use and can be endlessly reused).
CellCube CEO Alexander Schoenfeldt said: “Following our own research & development initiatives both internationally and in Australia to support the vision of large-scale production and deployment of VRFBs as the preferred energy storage technology long term, we are thrilled to have NHCE as a strategic partner in Australia.
“This cooperation with NHCE follows our business strategy to strengthen regional partnership, create a local product offering and enhance our work with Australian supply chain partners to build well designed megawatt microgrids.”
NHCE Executive Director of Development Steve Banning said the Agreement’s objective was to provide 24/7 green power supply arrangements to support industrial and commercial customers looking to increase their use of renewable energy sources, and who face severe issues on power quality, grid constraints, rising network costs and high-power prices.
“In addition, we will be warranting the systems produced for 20,000 cycles or approximately
20 years of use.”
THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF OVERSEAS PRODUCTION – LITHIUM AUSTRALIA
Image: north Harbour Clean Energy