UK domestic energy storage developer Moixa Technology is to use ‘second life’ Honda Civic nickel metal hydride batteries as part of a state-funded pilot.
In November 2013, Moixa was awarded funding for a £1.3m ($2.2m) project, which will see an aggregated 0.5MWh installed in 300 homes to demonstrate the provision of grid balancing services from domestic battery energy storage.
The programme will use lithium iron phosphate batteries from Chinese companies BYD and Fullriver, Aquion Energy’s ‘aqueous hybrid ion’ saltwater battery, as well as ‘second life’ EV batteries sourced from British recycler G&P Batteries. Moixa CEO Simon Daniel revealed to BEST the second life batteries would be mostly nickel metal hydride batteries from Honda Civic hybrid vehicles.
Daniel said second life batteries was win-win for all parties. “We’re able to lease them for 3-5 years before handing them back for recycling, allowing us to reduce battery costs. The owner of the batteries also wins because they have a revenue stream while the cost of final disposal is deferred.”
Moixa is currently seeking a £2m equity investment from a European utility-backed fund as it looks to expand in growing energy storage markets such as Germany. Daniel said the challenging British political climate meant domestic venture capitalists were steering clear of investing in UK energy storage companies.
“The UK is toasted,” said Daniel. “The expectation is that if Labour wins next year’s General Election, and they are favourites to do so, it might kill the national smart meter roll-out and Electricity Market Reform. So there’s not much point in investing, it’s too risky.”