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Plans for UK’s biggest lithium-ion battery ESS unveiled by Sembcorp

Mon, 12/20/2021 - 10:22 -- Paul Crompton

Plans for a 360MW lithium-ion energy storage system are underway in the UK by energy generation and battery storage firm Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK).

The system will be built at Wilton International on Teesside, with Sembcorp planning to build out the first phase of the project by 2023, with the rest of the project to follow in stages.

Once completed, the full 360MW of storage capacity will be on one site, where Sembcorp has available land and connections ready to install the batteries.

A competitive tender is being conducted to decide who will supply the energy storage system (ESS).

Grid connection approval is under way and, if successful, the ESS will operate on the wholesale markets delivering balancing services (firm frequency response, fast reserve, dynamic containment) plus new products that power utility National Grid is developing (dynamic moderation and dynamic regulation) and aim to launch next March.

SEUK operates 70MW of batteries, with a further 50MW due to be operational in early 2022. 

 Andy Koss, CEO of UK & Middle East, Sembcorp Industries, said: “Now, more than ever, flexible energy sources play an increasingly important role in maintaining secure and reliable energy supplies. 

“With a growing reliance on renewables, the UK energy system needs to be flexible and able to respond quickly to changes. Sembcorp Energy UK is committed to accelerating the energy transition with sustainable solutions, such as batteries.” 

In comparison, the biggest lithium-ion ESS of its kind in the world was completed by generation firm Vistra in Monterey County, US in August.

The 100MW expansion of the Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility brings the facility's total capacity to 400MW/1.6GWh. 

Building out UK’s power supply 

In September, BEST reported the UK’s largest lithium-ion energy storage system using a Tesla Megapack was being built at Clay Tye in Essex,

The 99MW/198MWh ESS will be delivered through a partnership between Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV)— part of Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel group— and the UK’s Harmony Energy.

The Clay Tye ESS beats two other projects in the UK, which are: the 150MW/150MWh Minety battery in south-west England, and a 100MW/100MWh project in Chester, which is due to be commissioned in Q1 2022.

In July 2020, the UK government introduced a secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales.

Removing barriers for energy storage projects were aimed at encouraging bolder investment decisions in larger battery facilities.

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Race quickens to develop UK’s lithium-ion manufacturing capacity

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 10:18 -- Paul Crompton

Plans to develop lithium-ion gigafactories in the UK are progressing this week with news from two companies aiming to deliver a combined 95GWh of capacity in the next decade.

Technology firm Envision AESC— a joint venture formed in 2007 between Nissan Motor Company, NEC Corporation and NEC Tokin Corporation— has gained formal planning permission for its manufacturing plant at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland, UK.

The initial 9GWh-capacity plant will form part of a £1billion ($1.4 billion) partnership with Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council to create an electric vehicle hub to support EV production.

Planning decision secures Envision’s investment of £450 million ($619 million), and paves the way for potential future investment of £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) on the site to generate 35GWh capacity by 2030.

Construction of the new building is due to begin in 2022 to support battery production in 2024.

The company’s existing Sunderland plant has been supplying batteries to Nissan for the Korean firm’s LEAF electric vehicle for the last nine years.

The gigafactory will be 100% powered by renewable energy and supported by an £80 million ($110 million) microgrid being developed by Sunderland City Council.

The plant will also deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to monitor and optimise energy consumption, predict demand and maintenance requirements and utilise battery storage facilities to manage energy supply intermittency. 

Permission came after a public consultation exercise with local stakeholders and residents, which received 80 per cent positive support.

Envision AESC is partnering with Renault Group to develop a 9GWh gigafactory in Douai by 2024, with the aim of reaching 24GWh six-years later. 

West Midland gigafactory

Further plans for the West Midlands Gigafactory have been announced, including costs, capacity and schedules.

The plant in Coventry, is a public private joint venture (JV) between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport and supported by an alliance of local governments, industrial groups, and universities.

The JV aims to begin production by 2025, before moving to its full planned capacity of 60MWh at an unreleased date.

The gigafactory will require a £2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) cash injection.

The plant will be based next to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre.

UK’s required battery capacity

According to the Faraday Institution, the UK will need eight gigafactories to meet domestic demand from EV and energy storage system developers.

Joining the race for the UK’s first gigafactory is Britishvolt, which announced last December it was set to build its plant in the North East of England— five months after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Welsh government.

The company began preliminary work on its plant in September after acquiring exclusive rights to a site in Blyth, Northumberland.

Read more about the Britishvolt’s plans in the Autumn 2020 edition of BEST magazine HERE

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UK to build its biggest lithium-ion ESS to date— a year after capacity limit was lifted

Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:53 -- Paul Crompton

The UK is set to build its largest lithium-ion energy storage system using a Tesla Megapack.

The system will be delivered through a partnership between Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV)— part of Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel group— and the UK’s Harmony Energy.

Work on the 99MW/198MWh energy storage system (ESS) at Clay Tye in Essex, has begun.

The system will use a Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries, together with Tesla’s Autobidder AI software for real-time trading and control.

It will be connected to the distribution network operator UK Power Networks to deliver energy storage and grid-flexibility services.

Clay Tye follows the completion of the firms’ 34MW/68MWh energy storage system in West Sussex, UK, that uses 28 Tesla Megapack batteries and Tesla’s Autobidder software; the firm’s also deployed a system in Holes Bay last year.

Tesla fire

Last month, a fire spread across two Tesla lithium-ion battery packs at Neoen’s 300MW/450MWh energy storage system (ESS) in Australia.

UK lift restrictions

The Clay Tye ESS beats two other projects in the UK, which are: the 150MW/150MWh Minety battery in south-west England, and a 100MW/100MWh project in Chester, which is due to be commissioned in Q1 2022.

In July 2020, the UK government introduced a secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales.

Removing barriers for energy storage projects were aimed at encouraging bolder investment decisions in larger battery facilities.

 

Image: an ESS previously built in Holes Bay, UK.

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UK-US partnership to scale-up direct lithium-ion battery cathode recycling

Fri, 09/10/2021 - 15:44 -- Paul Crompton

UK and US firms have partnered to improve the sustainability of lithium-ion battery manufacturing by using direct cathode recycling methods. 

UK firm Johnson Matthey and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) will partner with US firm OnTo Technology on the project involving direct recycling of lithium-ion battery production scrap.

Johnson Matthey has entered into an agreement to scale up OnTo Technology OnTo’s patented process for the direct recycling of lithium-ion battery scrap in collaboration with UKBIC.

Part funding for the feasibility stage of the project is from the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.

OnTo’s patented Cathode Healing process restores the coating material to be used in making new batteries. 

A Johnson Matthey spokesman told BEST: “The project is aimed at a demonstration unit that can be scaled-up directly to a commercial unit that can meet the need of cell manufacturers.

“The project is focused on cell manufacturing scrap rather than scrap batteries. The demonstration unit will take material from UKBIC’s cell production line and directly from cell manufacturers.

“The objectives of the project is to scale up OnTo’s patented direct cathode recycling technology, which so far has been developed at laboratory scale, to a scale at which the feasibility of a commercial recycling unit can be demonstrated. 

“A successful method of recycling cell scrap with make a significant overall contribution to the manufacturing efficiency of lithium-ion cell manufacturing, increasing the recycled content of new batteries.”

Matthew Dobson, UKBIC’s principal engineer, said: “The recycling of batteries is an important part of developing a sustainable UK value chain and aligns with our objective of enabling a route to Net Zero." 

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Britishvolt and Glencore sign strategic partnership for long-term supply of cobalt

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 15:06 -- Paul Crompton

Gigafactory firm Britishvolt has entered a cobalt supply agreement with Glencore as the UK company looks to secure a raw material supply chain for its lithium-ion ambitions.

Britishvolt will take a minimum of 30% of all its cobalt requirements from Switzerland-based Glencore, which has also made an undisclosed investment into the battery hopeful as part of the deal.

Ben Kilbey, chief communications officer at Britishvolt, told BEST there was no timeline on its deal, it was just a “long-term partnership”. 

Britishvolt announced in July it had been granted planning permission to construct its lithium-ion facility in Northumberland, UK.

The project will be built in three, 10GWh phases to a total capacity of 30GWh from 2027 onwards.

Orral Nadjari, Britishvolt CEO/founder said that by partnering with Glencore, the firm was able to “lock in supply” and “derisk the project”.

He said: “Cobalt is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries and knowing that we are being supplied with responsibly produced cobalt is a signal to the market that we are living by our values.”

David Brocas, head cobalt trader, Glencore, said: “As the mobility and energy transition accelerates, so does future demand for battery metals such as cobalt, copper and nickel.”

Britishvolt is on target to manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois, Northumberland.

Britishvolt is part of a consortium of seven UK-based organisations that have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop prototype solid-state batteries for automotive applications. 

Britishvolt signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Welsh government in July, 2020, but within a month had announced it was planning to build its plant in Northumberland.

BEST interviewed the firm’s chief strategy officer Isobel Sheldon about the company’s plans to build the UK’s first gigafactory in the Autumn 2020 edition of the magazine. You can read the interview here

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UK-based consortium established to develop prototype solid-state batteries

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 13:27 -- Paul Crompton

A consortium of seven UK-based organisations has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop prototype solid-state batteries for automotive applications. 

The collaboration will combine industry and academia to produce cells using scalable manufacturing techniques that “leapfrog the cost-effectiveness and performance achieved elsewhere”. 

The consortium comprises of: Johnson Matthey, Faraday Institution, Britishvolt, Oxford University, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Emerson & Renwick and the University of Warwick (WMG).

The preliminary design for a prototyping facility has been developed. However, funding is still to be put in place. 

It’s hoped the facility will enable solid-state battery technology to be developed in UK university laboratories, and improve the manufacturing and testing of prototype batteries.

David Greenwood (pictured), professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems, and CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said: “Early forms of solid-state battery are already around us, but we have yet to see solutions which are both mass-manufacturable and meet the performance and cost targets for future transport applications. 

“There remains huge opportunity for innovation in this space, and this initiative will provide the route for the UK to fast-track candidate technologies to industrialisation.”

Christian Gunther, CEO, Battery Materials at Johnson Matthey, said: “The realisation of a prototype solid-state battery cell will be a great achievement for the UK battery industry, and this consortium will be a critical enabler for delivering this milestone. 

“Delivering enhanced range and safety over traditional lithium-ion battery technologies will be a key driver for battery electric vehicle adoption.” 

Solid-state batteries offer potential advantages over existing lithium-ion battery technologies, including the ability to hold more charge for a given volume and reduce costs of safety-management. 

The Faraday Institution forecasts that, in 2030, solid-state batteries could take a 7% share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a 4% share of the EV battery market.

However, there are fundamental scientific challenges that need to be addressed before they are fully commercialised, with the Faraday Institution’s SOLBAT project making progress to address these challenges over the last three years. 

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Johnson Matthey steps up to buy assets and IP of lithium-sulfur firm Oxis

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 11:18 -- Paul Crompton
Oxis lithium-sulfur battery

Johnson Matthey has bought the intellectual property and assets of fellow UK firm and lithium-sulfur pioneer Oxis Energy.

As well as acquiring the assets and intellectual property of Oxis Energy, Johnson Matthey will also take up the lease at its premises at Culham Science Park, Oxford, UK.

The deal was finalised on 28 July, just over two months after the appointment of administrators.

A Johnson Matthey spokesperson told BEST the company was not disclosing the financial details of the acquisition at this time.

They added: “With moderate additional investment in upgrades, this transaction will significantly accelerate the scale-up of JM’s growing Green Hydrogen business.

“The physical assets of Oxis Energy serve multiple purposes: the physical assets at the Culham Science Park location allows JM’s Green Hydrogen business to develop, test, and produce catalyst coated membranes; battery testing equipment provides additional testing and quality control capability for Battery Materials product development

“The Intellectual property relating to lithium-sulfur battery technologies – a disruptive next generation battery materials technology – presents opportunities for JM’s Battery Materials business to advance its development of future battery materials technologies.”

The sale of the assets and intellectual property of Oxis Energy deal was secured by BDO business restructuring partners Simon Girling and Chris Marsden, with a team comprising of senior manager Douglas Cecil and senior executive Mike Griffiths. 

With premises in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and in South Wales, Oxis was a developer of lithium-sulfur batteries. 

Girling said: "We are pleased to have secured the sale of assets and intellectual property of OXIS Energy. With the help of TLT Solicitors, Gordon Brothers, Marsh and PHD Property, we were able to preserve the asset base in challenging conditions. This will enable a significant distribution to be made to creditors.”

Oxis announced it was on the brink of collapse in June after failing to secure the funding it needed to continue its research. 

 
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Envision joins race to build UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Thu, 07/08/2021 - 11:25 -- Paul Crompton
Envision joins race to build UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory that will form part of a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) electric vehicle hub.

The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin, with Envision potentially investing up to £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to reach to 25GWh capacity by 2030 with potential on site for up to 35GWh. 

Envision AESC, the battery arm of Envision Group, already owns and operates a battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 to supply batteries to Nissan.

Envision plans to manufacture batteries for up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year at the gigafactory that will sit opposite the Nissan plant.

Lei Zhang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envision Group, said: "His commitment builds on our long-term partnership with Nissan. It will put the North East at the heart of a new EV hub in the UK, collaborating on R&D around the whole battery lifecycle, from storage, to second life use, V2G smart charging and closed loop recycling." 

The gigafactory is part of the Nissan EV36Zero hub, which will bring together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production at one site. 

The billion-dollar project has been launched with investment by Nissan, Envision AESC, and Sunderland City Council.

Nissan will invest up to £423 million ($585 million) to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK. 

Nissan started production in Sunderland in July 1986. 

Race to build a gigafactory

According to the Faraday Institution, the UK will need eight gigafactories to meet domestic demand from EV and energy storage system developers.

Joining the race for the UK’s first gigafactory is Britishvolt, which announced last December it was set to build its plant in the North East of England— five months after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Welsh government.

The company plans to begin construction of its plant in the Summer of 2021 after acquiring exclusive rights to a site in Blyth Northumberland. 

Read more about the Britishvolt’s plans in the Autumn 2020 edition of BEST magazine HERE

France gigafactory

Envision AESC is partnering with Renault Group to develop a 9GWh gigafactory in Douai by 2024, with aim of reaching 24GWh six-years later. 

Envision will invest up to €2 billion ($2.3 billion) to produce batteries for electric models, including the future Renault R5, at the plant in Douai situated near to Renault ElectriCity production sites at Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz.

Lei Zhang, founder and chief executive officer of Envision Group, said: “This first phase development will unlock future large-scale investment to grow the local supply chain and develop the whole life cycle opportunities of batteries, including energy storage, battery reuse, smart charging and closed loop recycling.”

 

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Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 12:14 -- Paul Crompton
Envision Group UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory that will form part of a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) electric vehicle hub.

The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin, with Envision potentially investing up to £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to reach to 25GWh capacity by 2030 with potential on site for up to 35GWh. 

Envision AESC, the battery arm of Envision Group, already owns and operates a battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 to supply batteries to Nissan.

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Entek MoU signals lithium-ion battery seperator partnership with UK gigafactory

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 16:27 -- Paul Crompton
Entek MoU signals lithium-ion battery sepertor partnership with UK gigafactory

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand a UK battery separator manufacturing supply chain has been signed between UK lithium-ion gigafactory developer Britishvolt and battery separator firm Entek.

Firming their ongoing collaboration, the MoU sets out a roadmap to use Entek’s separators in Britishvolt’s batteries with the goal of creating a scalable production of lithium battery separators in the UK.

The MoU also sets out potential investment in facilities at Entek’s battery separator plant in Newcastle-upon-tyne and a co-located facility within Britishvolt’s Blyth campus in the UK.

The deal is the foundation for a long-term separator supply agreement that will allow Entek to invest in the UK’s first lithium battery separator plant.  

Larry Keith, Entek CEO said: “We are delighted to have been selected as Britishvolt’s preferred lithium-ion battery separator partner and eager to align our objectives and investments with their transformational plans to build a 30+ gigawatt hour factory in the UK”.

Britishvolt is delighted to be entering into this non-binding aagreement with ENTEK to supply lithium-ion battery separators.

Colocation at Britishvolt’s site aims to reduce the length of the supply chain and the carbon footprint of battery production.

Entek has a long history of investing in its UK operations and is a natural partner for Britishvolt as it establishes itself as the premier Lithium battery manufacturer in the UK.  Together, ENTEK and Britishvolt are committed to the future of electrification of vehicles with products made domestically.

Earlier this year, Battery separator firm Entek signed a deal to acquire the majority stake in Nippon Sheet Glass’ (NSG) lead-acid battery separator business.

You can read more about Entek in the forthcoming BEST magazine, published in mid-July. Subscribe here to make sure you receive your copy.

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