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Lithium-alternative metal battery storage companies EnerVenue, Ambri expand


Nickel-hydrogen-based battery storage company EnerVenue has struck a supply MOU for up to 420MWh in Puerto Rico while liquid metal battery company Ambri is expanding its new facility in Massachusetts, US.

EnerVenue signs second supply MOU in space of a month

EnerVenue has struck a supply memorandum of understanding (MOU) totalling up to 420MWh by 2024/25 with a logistics company in Puerto Rico. Under the deal, logistics and travel company Sonnell Power Solutions will procure and deploy 40MWh of EnerVenue’s EnerStation battery energy storage systems (BESS) in 2023. The procured volume will then increase to 420MWh in 2024 and 2025.

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EnerVenue launched two years ago to ‘disrupt’ energy storage with a 2-12 hour duration system with “virtually unlimited number of cycles”, its CEO told when it launched. It is the company’s second large supply MOU in a short space of time, with a 4.5GWh agreement for the next five years signed with developer Pine Gate Renewables a few weeks ago.

Its nickel-hydrogen battery is based on technology that has been used on the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope for years and EnerVenue is aiming to commercialise it at scale in the stationary storage space.

The company’s technology does not have any fire or thermal runaway risk and can withstand extreme temperatures and environmental conditions, EnerVenue said. It claims zero operating cost and maintenance need, and a virtually unlimited lifecycle regardless of charging pattern. It raised US$100m in a Series A last September.

Sonnell Power Solutions’ is the vehicle for parent company Grupo Sonnell’s push into the energy sector following Puerto Rico’s rising demand for grid-resilient energy solutions after Hurricane Maria in 2017 devastated its power sector. Businesses are actively seeking transitions to renewable energy solutions, the company said.

José Rodríguez Varela, President, Sonnell Power Solutions said: “EnerVenue’s storage solutions enable us to reduce the critical midday demand on the grid – and significantly lower energy costs – for industrial customers. We anticipate that EnerVenue will become a cornerstone technology for us, where we are able to fulfill the market’s energy transformation needs now and going forward.”

Liquid metal battery energy storage company Ambri expands manufacturing facility

Long-duration liquid metal battery energy storage system (BESS) company Ambri is expanding its manufacturing capacity at a new facility in Massachusetts.

The Innovation Hub will enable Ambri to broaden its manufacturing options and accelerate the commercialisation of its BESS solution. The facility will also be home to an expanded R&D lab and host an on-site Ambri pilot system.

The 140,000 square feet facility will triple Ambri’s current manufacturing footprint and allow for a production capacity of 200,000 battery cells per year starting in 2023. The new facility is expected to be at full volume production in 2024.

Ambri’s battery is comprised of a liquid calcium alloy anode, a molten salt electrolyte and a cathode comprised of solid particles of antimony, which allow for a unique set of operating characteristics that mean it avoids common degradation mechanisms of other battery chemistries, the company claims.

Adam Briggs, Chief Commercial Officer at Ambri commented: “Expanding our operations makes it possible for us to continue to innovate and produce with the speed and the scale needed to deliver quality, cutting-edge products that meet the growing demands for safe and affordable long-duration energy storage. It also further establishes the US — and Massachusetts more specifically — as the hub of our operations and innovation.”

The company raised US$144 million funding in a round which closed in August last year, with investors including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and India’s Reliance Industries. At the same time a 13GWh multi-year supply deal for the antimony to be used in its cathodes was signed with mining company Perpetua Resources, which is a subsidiary of another investor in Ambri, Paulson & Co.

In November 2020, Ambri claimed its batteries had been selected for use at a vast data centre development in Nevada, US. Data centre developer TerraScale will combine 250MWh of liquid metal batteries with more than 500MW of renewables in a microgrid at the site, Ambri CCO Adam Briggs said at the time.

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