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Work starts on Mercedes’ Alabama EV battery plant

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Daimler has broken ground for an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Alabama for its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

A ceremony marking the start of construction at Tuscaloosa, just seven miles from Mercedes existing vehicle production site, came just weeks after German auto firms indicated they could pull the plug on new investments in battery manufacturing in the US, if forced to pay increased tariffs under the Trump administration’s “national security” review.

The battery plant is part of a US$1 billion investment in the US that will cover two million square feet— twice the size of Mercedes’ nearby site. The US plant will form part of an eight-strong global battery production network including plants in Germany, China and Thailand.

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Merkel ‘sad’ at lack of battery cell production

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

German chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to “whip up” the development of a made-in-Europe battery cells industry— but she held out the possibility of cooperation with international partners.

Merkel, who studied physics, said it was “unbelievably sad… that we cannot produce battery cells in the land of the founding fathers of electrochemistry (or) even the whole of Europe”.

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Renault to use EV batteries for ‘biggest stationary BESS’

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Renault BESS

The Renault car group has unveiled plans to build “the biggest stationary energy storage system using electric vehicle batteries ever designed in Europe” by 2020.

Renault said the 70-megawatt/60 megawatt-hour system will be installed across three sites in France and Germany— at Renault plants in Douai and Cleon, and at a former coal-fired plant in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

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BMZ steps up battery expansion

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
An artist's impression of the developments at Karlstein

The BMZ group has announced a €120 million (US$141.2m) investment to expand battery systems production at its Karlstein am Main headquarters in Bavaria.

The decision will yield a 3,000sq.m production area, 80 new workstations, and a 20m logistics centre with 12,000 pallet spaces.  “As early as 2019, the new building alone will create another 300 jobs at the Karlstein plant,” said BMZ CEO Sven Bauer.

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Berlin urges EU to relax state-aid rules for battery investment

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:52 -- John Shepherd
Angela Merkel: Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

Germany has started hush-hush talks with EU leaders aimed at relaxing state-aid rules so the government can pump cash into launching of a national battery cell production programme, BEST Battery Briefing has learned.

BBB understands Germany wants to set a faster pace of progress for Europe’s ‘Batteries Alliance’— with Berlin in the driving seat.

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Germany marks solar BESS ‘milestone’

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 08:58 -- John Shepherd
German Solar Association image

Germany has welcomed the “milestone” installation of the country’s 100,000th grid-connected residential battery energy storage system.

Solar-battery storage projects will become “increasingly important” in pushing ahead with Germany’s energy transition (energiewende) policy, the German Solar Association (BSW) quoted parliamentary state secretary to the federal economic and energy minister, Thomas Barei, as saying.

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Narada’s German BESS ‘can spur closer cooperation’

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 14:36 -- John Shepherd
Langenreichenbach inauguration

Chinese battery maker Narada’s launch of its first large-scale battery storage project outside of China in Germany should spur both countries to expand technical and economic cooperation, a top Chinese diplomat has said.

Narada formally inaugurated the 15-megawatt/25 megawatt-hour Langenreichenbach lead-carbon battery system near Leipzig, in partnership with German electric energy storage operator the Upside Group, on 14 September.

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Farasis Energy paves way for EU lithium cell plant

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 14:21 -- John Shepherd
Farasis Energy

San Francisco-based lithium-ion tech company Farasis Energy is pushing ahead with plans to open a “large-scale” European lithium-ion cell production facility after securing financing “exceeding US$1 billion”.

The investment boost from C-round financing comes just two months after the company established a new manufacturing base in Zhenjiang, China with a planned annual capacity of 20 gigawatt-hours.

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UK’s redT to supply German grid-scale storage

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 09:33 -- John Shepherd
redT energy system

UK-based energy storage firm redT has signed a deal to supply more than 700 megawatt-hours (MWh) of grid-scale systems to support the German grid.

The company said it will initially deliver two 40MWh energy storage projects, using its ‘Gen 3’ vanadium redox flow technology, with plans to roll out a further 690MWh of projects in the future.

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Battery storage rises on German energy market ‘barometer’

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 09:27 -- John Shepherd
Energy storage

Battery storage systems in Germany will scale new heights over the next decade as renewable energy developers become increasingly reliant on the technology, says a new study.

Analysis by the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) shows the vast majority of energy market experts in Germany believe capacity requirements of energy storage systems “will continue to rise”.

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