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US seeks experts for new LIB transportation safety body

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 13:59 -- John Shepherd
US seeks experts for new LIB transportation safety body

The US has issued a call for experts to join a new committee being set up to advise the federal government on lithium-ion battery transportation safety.

Transportation secretary Elaine Chao (pictured) said the government is looking to recruit “experts from diverse technical and transportation backgrounds to evaluate safety improvements”.

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Lawmakers push for US battery materials security

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 15:12 -- John Shepherd
Lawmakers push for US battery materials security

US lawmakers are backing draft legislation aimed at cutting the country’s “damaging” dependence on imports of materials, including those “critical”  to expanding battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) technology.

A bipartisan group of senators say the American Mineral Security Act is needed to help reduce reliance on countries such as China. 

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‘US needs more investment in batteries’— former energy chief

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Ernest Moniz

Batteries should be included on a “breakthrough technology shortlist” in preparation for a much-needed overhaul of US energy policy, according to an expert report.

Increased federal funding and private investment is needed to support an expansion of battery storage and other technologies “deemed to have very high breakthrough potential”— such as hydrogen, ‘smart grids’ and advanced nuclear, the ‘Advancing the Landscape of Clean Energy Innovation’ report said.

The US is also recommended to establish an “impartial entity to closely monitor” supplies of lithium, cobalt, graphite and other critical materials, which are “becoming strategic resources for enabling a clean energy future”.

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Green light for Nevada utility’s battery storage projects

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
NV Energy logo

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) has given approval for six NV Energy projects in the state— collectively the “largest clean energy investment in Nevada History”— as the utility moves towards its long-term commitment to providing 100% of its energy through renewables.

Three of the projects will be located in northern Nevada, three in the south. The projects represent a direct investment to Nevada of more than US$2 billion, and will bring an aggregate 1,001 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generation to the state.

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Monbat signs bipolar tech licensing deal with ABC

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Ed Shaffer

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has signed a licensing rights agreement with US bipolar battery tech company Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC).

Monbat has acquired rights to the “full suite” of GreenSeal bipolar led battery technologies, ABC said.

CEO and chairman of Monbat Atanas Bobokov said his company had “seen the competitive advantages GreenSeal offers lead battery manufacturers… and envisaged many potential applications” for the technology.

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US consortium funds work on lithium-ion recycling

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) has announced US$1.08 million in funding to spur development of lithium-ion battery recycling in Massachusetts.

USABC, a collaborative organisation of American car manufacturers, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is backing the second phase of the lithium recycling contract by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

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Enersys powers into telecoms with Alpha Technologies deal

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
David Shaffer

Lead-acid battery maker Enersys is to acquire the US-based Alpha Technologies in a US$750 million deal to create “the only complete power solution provider for broadband, telecom and energy storage systems”.

Enersys said it had entered into an agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding shares and certain assets of select entities belonging to the Alpha Technologies group of companies.

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Cabot Corp, Saft in US low-cobalt cathode research

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected speciality chemicals firm the Cabot Corporation as a technology partner to develop low-cobalt cathodes for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

Cabot will work with researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and French battery maker Saft for the project. Argonne will assist in the synthesis of low-cobalt cathode compositions, while Saft will assist in the manufacture of batteries to validate performance of novel low-cobalt cathode formulations.

The DOE said it is investing a total of US$80 million “to explore more sustainable, affordable options” than cobalt— and “ultimately improve access to electric vehicle technology”.

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SoCal Edison selects esVolta to shore up grid with storage

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
SoCal Edison Aliso Canyon ESS

Utility-scale energy storage developer esVolta has been chosen to supply four lithium-ion battery storage systems to provide “incremental capacity” in California for utility Southern California Edison Company (SCE).

SCE said the systems, with a combined battery storage capacity of 38.5 megawatt-hours, would provide incremental capacity at specifically targeted locations, in order to improve the reliability of SCE’s electric distribution system”.

The installations in Riverside and Ventura counties— the contracts for which are subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission— will also “avoid more costly system upgrades that would otherwise be necessary to meet anticipated load demand”, SCE said.

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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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