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Honeywell signs 19GWh ‘next-gen’ battery deal with startup FREYR Battery

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Image: Andy Colthorpe / Solar Media.

A major supply deal and exchange of energy storage system (ESS) technologies and components has been agreed between Honeywell and Norwegian lithium-ion battery manufacturing startup FREYR Battery. 

US-headquartered technology company Honeywell is involved in a wide range of industries, from building and industrial controls systems to aerospace and performance materials. The group is also deeply involved in the energy storage space, offering both technology solutions and service contract and financing in numerous global markets. 

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FREYR is building out gigafactories in Europe, beginning with its first 2GWh plant currently under construction in Mo i Rana, Norway and targeting up to 83GWh of annual production capacity by 2028, with an interim target of 43GWh by 2025. 

The company has said it is committed to sustainability, including signing a deal with Glencore for partially recycled cobalt, and is powering its production processess with cheap renewable energy in its home country.

According to the agreement announced today by both companies, FREYR will leverage Honeywell’s various relevant technology offerings, such as industrial software, integrated automation, field instrumentation and security integration solutions into its manufacturing processes, subject to viability. 

Honeywell meanwhile will purchase 19GWh of FREYR’s battery cells between 2023 and 2030.

These cells will be used for ESS in a wide range of applications, with the pair primarily targeting the commercial and industrial (C&I) market segment, although a press release did say they could be used at front-of-meter sites as well as behind-the-meter.

The deal follows FREYR Battery’s December announcement of a 31GWh off-take agreement worth around US$3 billion with an undisclosed energy storage industry customer. 

In October FREYR formed a joint venture (JV) with Koch Strategic Platforms, a venture capital investment arm of Koch Industries, to evaluate the construction of battery manufacturing facilities in the US, floating the possibility of creating an initial 50GWh of annual manufacturing capacity in the country by 2030.

The battery company is currently pursuing another JV with Taiwan-based manufacturer Aleees to establish localised production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes in the Nordic region and has in place a technology partnership with US advanced lithium-ion battery tech company 24M

24M, a spin-off from MIT, has a manufacturing platform called SemiSolid, which enables low-cost production of batteries with thick electrodes, claiming the technology can enable higher energy density in batteries as well as robustness. 

In June last year Honeywell launched its own battery energy storage system (BESS) platform, as well as a no-money-down, energy storage-as-a-service offering to the C&I sector in partnership with sustainable infrastructure solutions company Alturus.

Other related technologies the company has in its range include fire safety systems marketed through its Xtralis brand, as well as its own flow battery which it launched in October and which will begin field testing this year. 

“Introducing decarbonised storage solutions at scale across multiple geographic markets is vital to our continued sustainability efforts and in turn, helps to make renewable energy accessible and efficient,” Ujjwal Kumar, president and CEO of Honeywell Process Solutions, the company division for industrial automation control which is also responsible for deploying and servicing battery storage, said in announcing the agreement with FREYR.

“This collaboration will pair FREYR’s next-generation battery solutions with Honeywell’s 20 years of lithium-ion battery industry know-how and established routes to markets and customers.”

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