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Finnish mining firm eyes lithium hydroxide production

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

Finnish mining company Keliber Oy has launched a pilot-scale programme for the possible production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

Keliber said the project with Outotec Finland will form part of technical and economic studies to evaluate the feasibility of production.

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BMZ takes control of TerraE to launch German cell production ‘by 2020’

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

Lithium-ion developer and producer BMZ has taken control of German peer TerraE Holding, in a move to cement Germany’s position as a future leader in European battery cell manufacturing.

BMZ, which describes itself as Europe’s largest producer of lithium-ion battery systems, said taking majority ownership was part of plans to launch battery cells production in Germany by 2020.

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Germany’s billion-euro bid to lead EU battery cell production

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Peter Altmeier

Germany has pledged to pump €1 billion (US$1.1bn) into promoting battery cell production by 2021— with the aim of German and European producers “supplying 30% of global demand” by 2030.

The head of the federal economic affairs and energy ministry, Peter Altmaier, also revealed a “new battery cell consortium” could be formed in Germany around the end of this year.

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JCI quits batteries with Power Solutions sale

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Cyrus Madon

Johnson Controls International (JCI) has announced a definitive agreement to sell its battery business Power Solutions to US and Canadian investment firms Brookfield Business Partners and CDPQ in a cash transaction valued at US$13.2 billion.

The deal ends months of feverish speculation about the future of Power Solutions.

New York and Toronto-listed Brookfield is the business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management. Quebec-based CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) is an institutional investment fund manager.

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Second life for Nissan batteries in Endesa power plant

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Melilla power plant

Spanish utility Endesa is to re-use batteries taken from Nissan Leaf electric vehicles in a “pioneering” storage system at its Melilla power plant.

Endesa said the system at the oil- and gas-powered plant, in the Spanish enclave city of Melilla in Morocco, will use more than 90 interconnected batteries from EVs to create a 4 megawatt storage unit with a with a maximum storage capacity of 1.7 megawatt-hours.

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Northvolt plans Poland battery plant to target European market

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Northvolt energy storage system

Swedish lithium-ion start-up Northvolt has announced plans for a new battery production facility in Gdansk, Poland.

The facility will produce full battery systems— containing battery cells, an electronic control system, and often a cooling and heating system— using cells manufactured at Northvolt’s factory in Sweden, where production is scheduled to start toward the end of 2020.

Northvolt said the new plant, which will include an R&D centre, would be operated in partnership with California-based precision semiconductor manufacturer South Bay Solutions.

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EU energy chief’s about-face on lead-acid?

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Maroš Šefčovič with Maroš Šefčovič

The European Union’s energy chief has given his first public indication yet that he personally believes advanced lead-acid batteries can be part of the bloc’s future energy mix, despite months of moves against the technology by European institutions.

Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission vice-president spearheading EU ‘energy union’ policies, told BEST Battery Briefing that all advanced battery technologies should be deployed— and should benefit from R&D grant aid— if they meet strict new environmental requirements in terms of sustainability in production and supply of materials.

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BYD initiates energy storage in Poland

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

Chinese batteries and automotive manufacturer, BYD, has started operating its first energy storage project in the Polish market— a system that it was “actively invited” to supply.

The 1.26 megawatt / 2.52 megawatt-hour lithium-ion system, operated in partnership with Polish firm ML Systems, will be coupled with a 1MW solar PV power plant— also produced and sold by Shenzhen-based BYD— to enable peak shaving and to create a more balanced network.

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Ireland pilots hybrid flywheel battery system

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

A ‘hybrid flywheel battery’ system has started operation in Ireland as part of a pilot system service project.

Peter Duffy, president of the Irish Energy Storage Association, told last week’s Energy Storage Global Conference in Brussels the pilot ‘AdD HyStor’ scheme followed a year of testing coordinated by Irish company Schwungrad Energie and state-owned transmission system operator EirGrid.

AdD HyStor, which has received nearly €3 million (US$3.4m) in European Union funding to date, is being developed in association with German companies Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqcon, and the University of Sheffield in the UK.

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EU red tape ‘risks exporting battery jobs’, ILA warns

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Thousands of battery jobs risk being axed in Europe and ‘exported’ to overseas competitors as a result of unnecessary and restrictive legislation, lead-acid industry bosses have warned.

A European Commission proposal for an “in-effect ban” on the use of four chemical compounds, mainly used in the manufacture of lead batteries, is still on the table, the head of the International Lead Association (ILA) Dr Andy Bush has warned.

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