Battery pioneer Ambri has signed a deal to deliver a 300MW liquid-metal energy storage system to South Africa— the largest battery energy storage system to be deployed in the country to date.
Renewable energy firm Earth & Wire will combine the US company’s technology with a 1,200MWh wind- and solar-powered generation site in the Eastern Cape.
The system will enable Earth & Wire to manage fluctuations in supply and demand, and work toward providing consistent and responsive power to South African end users.
Ambri will begin shipping batteries for the project in 2024 with installation completed in 2026.
The deal represents the largest commercial deployment in Ambri’s history to date and is “another step” in its progress toward full commercialisation.
Last month, Ambri announced the expansion of its manufacturing capacity with a new facility in Milford, Massachusetts.
The new facility, Ambri’s Innovation Hub, enables the company to broaden its manufacturing operations as it continues its goal of bringing its battery systems to commercial markets.
The 140,000 square feet facility will also be home to an expanded R&D laboratory and host an on-site Ambri pilot system.
The expansion will more than triple the size of Ambri’s manufacturing footprint and allows for a production capacity of 200,000 battery cells per year that will be installed into systems for customers starting in 2023.
The new facility is estimated to be at full volume production in 2024.
The technology is comprised of a liquid calcium alloy anode, a molten salt electrolyte and a cathode comprised of solid particles of antimony, enabling a low number of steps in the cell assembly process.
The active materials in the cells reversibly alloy and de-alloy while charging and discharging.
The electrolyte is thermodynamically stable with the electrodes, avoiding side reactions such as film-formation that can degrade the performance; the negative electrode is fully consumed when discharged, and then is reformed on every cycle.
Ambri’s ESS product is a ready-to-install DC containerised system, complete with shelves of cells, thermal management, weatherproof outer enclosure, and a battery management system.
It is designed for applications that require high energy capacity, frequent cycling, long life and high efficiency.
Cells are assembled onto trays and connected within a thermal enclosure to form a MWh-scale system.
Multiple systems placed together on site are connected in parallel, enabling unlimited upward scalability for large-scale projects.