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Joint venture plans liquid air energy storage projects

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 12:56 -- Hugh Finzel
Highview LAES system

A new joint venture company involving UK liquid air energy storage (LAES) system pioneer Highview Power is to develop “multiple projects” in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa.

Highview has entered into a joint venture agreement with Spain-based global engineering, procurement and construction group, TSK, to co-develop a series of “large-scale long-duration energy systems”.

The projects will use Highview’s cryogenic LAES technology, which the company said “can deliver anywhere from 20MW/80MWh to more than 200MW/1.2GWh of energy” at facilities with a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

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Leclanché to contribute ‘breakthough’ tech to German battery consortium

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Leclanché to contribute ‘breakthough’ tech to German battery consortium

Leclanché is working on a “breakthrough technology” that could be rolled out as part of its contribution to a government-backed battery cell consortium in Gemany, BEST Battery Briefing (BBB) can reveal.

Leclanché CEO Anil Srivastava (pictured) told BBB research and development work was already under way, but he said details could not yet be revealed, other than to say the technology was “within lithium”.

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ESS flow batteries first taker of Munich Re’s ‘performance insurance’

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
ESS flow batteries first taker of Munich Re’s ‘performance insurance’

Munich Re has launched an insurance policy for battery manufacturers to insure against the risk of their products not delivering as promised.

The Germany-based insurance group said the move would allow manufacturers to offer long-term performance guarantees, “whose value is backed by the insurance coverage”.

And US-based all-iron flow battery maker Energy Storage Systems confirmed it was including 10-year insurance coverage on its long-duration energy storage products through Munich Re.

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Monbat eyes expansion to make bipolar batteries in Bulgaria

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Alan Bobokov

Bulgarian lead-acid company Monbat has confirmed proposals for a major expansion of its manufacturing operations in the country to produce bipolar batteries under licence from US-based Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC).

Monbat’s licensing deal for ABC’s GreenSeal bipolar lead technology was announced earlier this year— but neither company would say where the batteries might be made.

However, BEST Battery Briefing has now confirmed Monbat has taken the first steps towards building a 2.4 gigawatt-hour plant in Vratsa, Bulgaria, especially for the production of bipolar batteries.

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UK battery tech firm added to Shell collection

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Fossil-fuel giant Shell has further extended its reach into the energy storage sector with the acquisition of virtual battery systems operating firm, Limejump.

The purchase by Shell’s New Energies division comes hot on the heels of the multinational’s acquisition of all of the shares in German battery storage firm Sonnen, as reported in last week’s BEST Battery Briefing.

Limejump is a UK-based energy storage management company that describes itself as “the first energy company to trade an aggregated unit and the first to trade batteries in the UK balancing mechanism market”.

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OEMs ‘should pay for recycling’ to ease EV transition

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The cost of recycling used electric vehicle batteries should be covered “at least in part” by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), according to proposals by Europe’s energy storage industry.

Such a move should form part of measures to “address the barriers that hamper the uptake of storage”, the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) has said in a new position paper.

The paper recommends EV batteries be used in the stationary energy storage market once they are no longer suitable for their initial purpose, describing it as “a significant opportunity for car and battery manufacturers, but also EV owners who would be able to replace a part of their initial investment in the EV battery”.

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Eurobat bid to curb ‘lost’ EV batteries

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Europe is being urged to overhaul regulations to ensure more lithium-ion batteries are kept in the bloc for recycling— instead of being ‘lost’ when end-of-life electric vehicles are exported to be scrapped.

The Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, Eurobat, has warned the “relative scarcity of these batteries entering the recycling stream is currently preventing the development of a business case for recyclers”.

This makes lithium-based EV batteries a net ‘taker’ of raw materials, Eurobat said.

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Shell tightens grip on storage with Sonnen takeover

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Fossil fuel giant Shell has acquired 100% of German battery storage firm Sonnen for an undisclosed sum.

The move comes less than a year after Sonnen raised €60 million (US$70.5m) in a financing round led by Shell.

Shell said the deal, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, aimed to “accelerate the building of a customer-focused energy system in support of Shell’s strategy to offer more and cleaner energy solutions to customers”.

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Macron raises alarm on European battery dependence

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

France will invest €700 million (US$788.8 million) over the next five years to boost the European battery industry and reduce reliance on Asian battery makers, President Emmanuel Macron has said.

Speaking to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers in Paris, Macron said that Europe needs a “wake-up call” on batteries, referencing the threat of external dependence for an increasingly vital resource in an era of international trade wars.

“In terms of sovereignty and independence, I think it’s not good in the long run for our industry to be 100 per cent reliant on non-Europeans,” Macron was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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LIB disposal under fire after landfill blaze and ‘exploding e-cigs’

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Fire chiefs in Scotland have issued a plea for responsible recycling after a lithium-ion battery was suspected of sparking a major blaze at a landfill site in Dunbar.

Fire fighters spent more than 40 hours battling the blaze in a Dunbar building where waste arriving on site is stored before it is landfilled.

More than 300 tonnes of refuse was set alight in last month’s fire— which at its height required 40 fire-fighters and six fire trucks.

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