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Flow battery player Invinity signs MOU with Korean conglomerate Hyosung


Vanadium flow battery supplier Invinity Energy Systems has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the power and industrial systems arm of Korean conglomerate Hyosung Corporation to commercialise its batteries in South Korea and elsewhere.

Invinity announced the non-binding MOU with Hyosung Heavy Industries on Friday, 8 April. It comes after Hyosung successfully completed a testing and validation programme of a 200kWh battery energy storage system (BESS) supplied by Invinity in 2020.

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“We have been impressed with the capabilities and operation of Invinity’s vanadium flow batteries during our testing programme,” said Takeshi Yokota, President and CEO at Hyosung Heavy Industries.

This means that the Invinity’s BESS has been validated as a suitable addition to Hyosung’s portfolio of projects globally. The MOU could result in Hyosung being the exclusive solution provider for Invinity’s VS3 products in Korea with non-exclusive rights to sell Invinity’s products elsewhere.

Invinity said that Korea is an attractive market for energy storage due to its high per capita energy use, constrained grid infrastructure and significant government support for both renewable and energy storage projects. But there have been a number of high-profile lithium-ion battery figures in existing storage systems in the country which has led to increased scrutiny on safety.

Combined with a wider growing interest in long duration technology, this has, according to Invinity, “..created important opportunities for non-flammable and durable technologies such as vanadium flow batteries”.

THE MOU is targeting large-scale public procurement tenders and may also result Hyosung manufacturing parts of VS3 products.

Larry Zulch, CEO of Invinity said: “We are thrilled to be developing a close relationship with Hyosung that has the potential to span supply, support, and even manufacturing in South Korea and other markets around the world. This new relationship supports our corporate strategy of building exclusive relationships with strong partners in important markets where we do not currently have a presence.”

The announcement appears to have been received positively by the markets. Invinity’s share price on the London Stock Exchange closed 12.5% up on Friday, 8 April, compared to the previous day’s close.

Hyosung provides full BESS solutions to customers, including power conversion system (PCS) and energy management system (EMS). It is in the process of concluding a 48MW/192MWh BESS order from South African grid operator and utility ESKOM and expanded into Europe last year with a 50MW project in the UK.

Hyosung has not revealed the underlying technology of the four-hour BESS for South Africa. As wrote recently, lithium-ion is still largely price-competitive with flow batteries at up to eight hours of duration.

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