UK-based investment firm Gore Street Energy Storage Fund has unveiled plans to raise GBP100 million ($139m) in an initial public offering to invest in utility-scale energy storage projects.
Gore Street said it would raise funds on the main market of the London Stock Exchange to invest “mainly in the UK”— but would also consider projects in North America and Western Europe.
Australian flow battery maker Redflow has won a second US$600,000 (A$750,000) order for zinc-bromine batteries for a major energy storage project in the Pacific Islands.
The repeat order, from New Zealand-based Hitech Solutions, comes just a few months after Redflow supplied its ZBM2 batteries for Hitech’s construction of “advanced hybrid energy storage solutions” at a number of telecoms sites.
As the northern hemisphere ushers in the summer solstice on 21 June, the auspicious event augurs well for the upcoming International Flow Battery Forum (IFBF) in the UK, say organisers.
Flow battery technology is definitely benefiting from its time in the sun, according to the IFBF. The range of industries represented at the 8th annual forum, which gets under way in Manchester on 27 June, are drawn “from the broader energy space”, the IFBF said.
IFBF organiser Anthony Price said industries represented in Manchester will include “large users of power, computing, transport and infrastructure companies and funds”.
“We need to start thinking about much bigger market opportunities for flow batteries,” Price said.
“The whole energy storage industry has seen a revolution,” Price added. “Storage is now integral to the whole power system and just constraining the market to large scale installations ignores the huge value that there is in storage behind the meter, close to small substations and most importantly seizing the opportunities from widespread distributed renewable generation and now the electric vehicle revolution.”
“The early days for flow batteries included research into refillable electric vehicles, where electrolyte was physically exchanged to achieve the fast charge,” Price said. “Although this did not make the cut six or seven years ago, it is quite likely with the new organic and low cost electrolytes that the next generation of EVs will have flow battery capability, and it is very likely that EV charging stations will be supported by larger scale flow battery based energy storage in order to overcome local power distribution constraints.”
A university and semiconductor firm has a forged a partnership to help India meet its target of getting seven million hybrid and electric vehicles on the country’s roads by 2020.
A research laboratory in Puducherry, India, aims to help researchers develop all-solid state thin film lithium, bulk lithium, lithium-sulfur, lithium-air and flow batteries.
A consortium of companies from the technology and academic backgrounds is researching how flow batteries can be used in data centres.
The project will research how the technology could usurp lead-acid, lithium-ion or diesel generators as back-up energy sources in data centres.
American technology company Microsoft and Houston-based energy firm NRG Energy have both put $1 million capital investment into the project.
Research will be carried out through a partnership between the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and research and development firm Southwest Research Institute.
Australia-based flow battery firm RedFlow Energy Storage Solutions and Gildemeister (a subsidiary of German manufacturer DMG Mori Aktiengesellschaft) energy solutions have been involved in the project.
Primus Power — a venture capital-backed business that builds liquid batteries for the electric grid based in California — is also involved.
Beyond that, there are potential applications for these batteries — which have fluid inside rather than lithium or lead acid — to be used on the power grid to store energy from renewable sources, like solar or wind.
A report has highlighted a global upswing in interest toward flow batteries after the technology secured the majority of the $397million invested in the battery/storage sector in 2015.
Flow battery companies received $120 million of funding, followed by energy storage system companies with $96 million, according to Mercom Capital Group’s annual 2015 Funding and M&A Report.