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Pilbara secures funding to expand Pilganoora lithium deposit

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Pilganoora lithium-tantalum project

Australian mining company Pilbara Minerals has secured funding from two of its key customers, in order to expand its Pilganoora lithium ore deposit.

The funding is comprised of a US$25 million offtake pre-payment facility provided by Chinese automotive manufacturer, Great Wall Motor Company, a $50m equity placement to Ganfeng Lithium, and a proposed new $50m Nordic bond to be implemented in the current quarter, with bondholder consent.

The funding package will be combined with Pilbara’s existing cash reserves and future cash flow from stage 1 operations of the Pilganoora resource to fully fund the second stage of operations. Pilbara is targeting commissioning of stage 2 from the March quarter 2020.

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Mine waste powers battery business

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Adrian Griffin

VSPC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia (LA), has successfully manufactured lithium-ion cathode material and lithium-ion batteries themselves from lithium mining waste.

This announcement marks the success of an extended project for LA, after BEST Battery Briefing reported last August that they had obtained permission to extract lithium from mining dumps in Western Australia.

Waste tri-lithium phosphate— which is a direct waste product from lithium mining— was successfully converted into lithium-iron-phosphate cathode material at LA’s laboratory and pilot plant facility in Brisbane, Queensland.

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Infinity Lithium eyes battery supply market with Spanish project

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Australia-listed lithium developer Infinity Lithium has unveiled a scoping study for its San Jose project in Spain’s Extremadura region, including the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Infinity had previously released a lithium carbonate scoping study for San Jose, but said it was shifting the project’s focus towards lithium hydroxide.

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Tesla adds battery storage to Gannawarra solar farm

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Tesla battery system at Gannawarra Solar Farm

A 25MW/50MWh Tesla lithium-ion battery pack has entered service at the 60MW Gannawarra solar PV farm to create the first integrated solar and storage project in the state of Victoria, and the largest in Australia.

The Gannawarra battery— which was developed by Australian renewables company Edify Energy— is capable of powering more than 16,000 homes through two hours of peak demand. EnergyAustralia will operate the combined solar farm and battery facility.

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South Australia funds further battery storage

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Dan van Holst Pelkaan

South Australia’s state government has launched an AUD50 million fund to accelerate investment in grid-scale energy storage, needed to address intermittency in the South Australian electricity system.

"This multi-million dollar fund is one of a range of measures the Liberal government is taking to make electricity more affordable and reliable," said Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan (pictured).

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Albemarle set to invest in Australian lithium joint venture

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

US chemicals company Albermarle has signed an exclusivity agreement to create a potential lithium joint venture in Western Australia.

Albemarle said the agreement with Mineral Resources Limited (MRL) could lead to the creation of a 50-50 joint venture to own and operate the Wodgina hard rock lithium mine in the state’s Pilbara region— and “ultimately develop an integrated lithium hydroxide operation at the site”.

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University enlists hybrid storage system to combat emissions

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

UK-based energy storage company redT has put a 1 megawatt-hour energy storage system (ESS) into operation at Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia.

The company said the vanadium flow/lithium-ion hybrid ESS is the first of its type and believed to be the largest behind the meter commercial and industrial system to be installed in Australia. It is comprised of 12 vanadium flow tank units (giving 900kWh of storage) and a 120kWh lithium-ion battery.

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Australia trials shared home battery storage

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Tesla PowerBank

In a “first” for Australia, a 105kW/420kWh Tesla PowerBank will be installed to provide 52 homes with shared access to energy storage for a 24-month trial.

The 52 shares of the community battery in Mandurah, Western Australia— which will be jointly owned and operated by Western Power and Synergy— sold in less than two weeks.

Each of the customers will be allocated a maximum of 8kWh of virtual storage— at the cost of AUD1 (US$0.72) per day— which they will use to store energy from solar panels during the day, and drawn down the power to avoid evening peak charge periods.

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South Australia kick-starts home BESS finance scheme

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Steven Marshall

South Australia has launched a scheme to help finance the installation of battery storage systems in some 40,000 homes across the state.

Premier Steven Marshall (pictured) said subsidies would be worth up to AUD6,000 (US$4,200) per home battery system installed.

German battery storage company Sonnen is the first provider to benefit from the scheme, after it announced plans to manufacture its lithium iron phosphate battery storage systems at a former car manufacturing plant in the state.

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Redflow to supply batteries for South African telecoms towers

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Tim Harris

Australian flow battery producer Redflow has won an order to supply five of their zinc-bromine units to provide standby energy storage for remote telecoms towers in South Africa.

The sale was made through Redflow’s long-term South African partner, Specialized Solar Systems (SSS), which Redflow said it has worked with to enable its batteries to serve as standby power systems (SPS).

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