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Quebec government approves 7GWh energy storage manufacturing plant

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The government of the Canadian province of Quebec has approved the construction of an energy storage manufacturing facility from technology company Réseau Allégé Québec (RAQ).

The Québec Ministry of the Environment has given environmental and construction authorisation for the facility in Ville de Shawinigan, which is being developed by RAQ. A first phase of 7GWh of production capacity has been approved with plans for a second phase increasing that to 20GWh.

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RAQ appears to be planning a vertically integrated facility building battery cells, packs and whole systems. The announcement said that RAQ’s “large capacity cells enable two to three times the production output within a typical building footprint, translating to greater energy efficiency, productivity, and manufacturing agility”.

CEO Mike Epstein told Energy-Storage.news the cells will be high capacity 3000Ah cells, enabling superior technical performance and “excellent capital efficiency and productivity”, he claimed.

When asked how the factory’s output would split between cells and whole systems, Epstein said: “A majority of customers are seeking fully integrated packs and systems but roughly 20% of our partners prefer to work with cells.”

The company has, however, not revealed the type of battery technology that will be produced at the facility. Lithium-ion is the current dominant technology for both the electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage system (ESS) markets, while chemistries based on sodium, zinc and other resources are growing in popularity although from a very low base.

Construction services provider Broccolini Construction Inc created the preliminary design for the first phase of the facility, which is expected to begin construction in 2024.

RAQ says on its website that it has over 20 years of advanced energy storage technology, decades of working providing solutions to the US military, and over 60 patents and patents pending.

Banks RBC Capital Markets and Société Générale are advising on the project. Epstein said the project has a capital cost of US$50 million per GWh of annual production capacity.

Canada is planning to bring in tax credit incentives for clean energy investment, in both downstream projects and upstream manufacturing, akin to those under the US’ Inflation Reduction Act which have seen investment in the country’s clean energy sector boom.

Energy-Storage.news has contacted RAQ for comment and will update this article when a response is received.

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