COVID-19: KORE Power says Chinese supply partner ‘resumed operations in Mid-march’

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KORE Power’s stand at the 2019 edition of Solar Power International / Energy Storage International in Utah. Image: Andy Colthorpe / Solar Media.

US-headquartered energy storage manufacturing startup KORE Power has said that its supply partner in China has resumed operations “and is presently working to meet KORE Power’s customer orders”.

KORE CEO Lindsay Gorrill, who recently wrote a Guest Blog for this site about how industrial energy storage can help fuel job creation as well as powering up the clean energy transition, published a note last week detailing the situation around COVID-19 as it impacts his company.

After an opening address acknowledging the paramount importance of the “mental and physical health of American and global citizens,” and going on to thank medical responders and other key members of society for “working hard each day to keep society moving forward,” Gorrill acknowledged that the energy storage sector is facing challenges within the supply chain as a result of the deadly virus and its impacts.

KORE Power has designed a 110.7kWh battery storage rack based around high-power nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cells. Launch of the rack, branded “Mark 1”, is scheduled for the second quarter of this year. Testing to meet required safety standards was already underway in February. 

The company is partnered with a supplier in China, Do-Flouride Chemicals. Company representatives previously told that Gorrill picked up on the fact that Do-Flouride, while active in producing EV batteries for its domestic market, had never exported.

‘Like many, our business has been impacted by COVID-19’

“Many industry participants are experiencing delays dating back to early February, reflecting the timing of the outbreak in China, creating the concern that there will be a supply shortage,” Gorrill wrote.

“Like many, our business has been impacted by COVID-19 with the ramping up of commercial production of our Mark 1 energy storage system experiencing delays.”

However, with Do-Flouride Chemicals back at work since Mid-March, KORE will be able to ship Mark 1 Battery Management Systems (BMS) and its modules for integration testing from early April. This leaves the company “on track to obtain certifications for the Mark 1 module and rack in the second quarter of 2020,” Gorrill said, while the existing supply chain will allow the company to fulfil customers’ orders for deliveries in the second quarter.

KORE Power is developing a 2GWh factory in China, while the company also plans to build up between 6GWh and 10GWh of manufacturing capacity in the US, at a location to be confirmed, the CEO of the Idaho-headquartered company said. State-by-state location evaluation continues, Gorrill said, describing this objective as “more pressing than ever”.

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