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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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SK Innovation to build EV batteries in US?

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
SK innovation

South Korean energy and chemical company SK Innovation (SKI) is reportedly considering building an electric vehicle battery plant in the US, but is staying tight-lipped on details.

The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s order of a ‘Section 232’ investigation that could lead to the US slapping a 25% import tariff on automobile parts brought into the US. 

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Axion Power files for bankruptcy as China deal hope fails

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 08:54 -- John Shepherd
Richard Bogan

Lead-carbon battery maker Axion Power International has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the US.

The chairman and CEO of the Pennsylvania-based firm, Richard Bogan (pictured), said the decision had been taken after pursuing “unsuccessful endeavours”— and failing to clinch a deal with one China's largest lead-acid battery manufacturers, Fengfan Co.

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US backs studies of ‘breakthrough electrolytes’

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:33 -- Xuan Zhong
US backs studies of ‘breakthrough electrolytes’

Energy chiefs in the US are backing the launch of an ‘Energy Frontier Research Center’ (EFRC) as part of research into “breakthrough electrolytes for energy storage”.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $10.75 million to set up the EFRC at Case Western Reserve University.

 

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‘Irrational Trump will hurt US’ with battery tariffs plan— China

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:31 -- John Shepherd
‘Irrational Trump will hurt US’ with battery tariffs plan— China

Lead-acid batteries and lithium raw materials have been dragged into the now highly-charged trade tariffs bust-up between the US and China.

President Donald Trump has ordered that “lead-acid batteries of any kind” be included in a new list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports subject to tariffs of 10%. 

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US training boost for next lead-acid generation

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 11:01 -- Xuan Zhong
US training boost for next lead-acid generation

A pioneering programme to nurture tomorrow’s generation of professionals for the expanding US lead-acid sector is under way in Missouri backed by lead recycling firm Doe Run.

St Louis-based Doe Run has already stepped up hiring in 2017 and 2018 for its mining and lead battery recycling operations.

 

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US lab team ‘develops new compound for redox flow batteries’

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:13 -- Xuan Zhong
US lab team ‘develops new compound for redox flow batteries’

Research published by scientists in the US indicates an organic molecule used in dyes and antibiotics “may be the key to less expensive, more efficient redox flow batteries”.

The scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) team have developed a “highly reversible, water soluble material based on phenazine”— that could serve as an alternative to vanadium used in grid-scale batteries.

 

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Crash probes in US, Europe, highlight lithium fires

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:00 -- John Shepherd
Crash probes in US, Europe, highlight lithium fires

Lithium-ion batteries continue to be in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons— the latest being fatal crashes and fires in the US and Europe.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed it is investigating a crash involving a 2014 Tesla Model S in Florida, which was “reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck a wall resulting in a post-crash fire”.

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Temperature ‘heals lithium dendrites’— study

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 10:01 -- Xuan Zhong
Temperature ‘heals lithium dendrites’— study

Researchers in the US say they have developed a new technique using heat to “enable lithium-metal self-healing” to eliminate the dendrite build-up in battery anodes.

The team at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute claim to have discovered a way to use internal battery heat “to diffuse the dendrites into a smooth layer”.

 

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