ROUNDUP: Skeleton Tech raises funds, Northvolt’s first commissioning, Texas 4.5MWh for Aggreko

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Northvolt’s newly-commissioned energy storage system at an electric vehicle charge station in Västerås, Sweden.

4 November 2020: Ultracapacitor maker Skeleton Technologies nets equity funding 

Estonia-headquartered ultracapacitor manufacturer and designer Skeleton Technologies has raised €41.3 million (US$48.46 million) in an equity fund raise.

CEO and co-founder Taavi Madiberk said the funding and support from investors including EIT InnoEnergy and electrical equipment manufacturer Harju Elekter will help the company “scale and aggressively grow”. Skeleton Tech's devices use 'Curved Graphene' nanomaterials in electrodes with high chemical purity to achieve a high energy density. 

“The momentum for energy transition and decarbonisation of the economy is stronger than ever. I am proud to see that our investors strongly believe in our vision and we now have new world-class mix of industrial companies and experienced startup leadership behind us,” Madiberk said.

In a recent webinar hosted by with EIT InnoEnergy on the role ultracapacitors could play in the energy transition, Skeleton Tech programme director Egert Valmra said that products the company is working on in addition to its existing range of ultracapacitors for automotive, grid, industrial and transportation applications include a so-called ‘super battery’ with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. 

“The green transformation of Europe’s economy – from transportation to process industries – is unthinkable without innovative energy storage solutions. Therefore, it is of utmost strategic importance to help build European champions in this arena,” European Commission-backed technology accelerator EIT InnoEnergy’s CEO Diego Pavia said.

“Hence, our decision to invest in (European gigawatt-scale lithium battery manufacturing startup) Northvolt back in its very early days. Skeleton, with its world-leading and broadly applicable ultracapacitor technology, has all it takes to become another one of those European champions, and we are proud to continue and extend our support for them.”

4 November 2020: Northvolt commissions first energy storage system

Northvolt took a small but significant step forwards this week towards its aim of meeting 25% of Europe’s demand for lithium-ion batteries, with the announcement that its first commercial energy storage system is up and running in Sweden.

The company, formed in 2016, is looking to establish 150GWh of production facilities in locations in Europe including Sweden and Germany and earlier this year said that US$600 million raised in equity financing brought its total financing to date up to US$3.5 billion.

The company signed a contract to supply its first-ever energy storage system (ESS) in December 2019, for Mälarenergi, a municipally-owned electricity and heating company in Vasteras, Sweden, the town where Northvolt is hosting research and development facilities and its offices.

The now-commissioned project is a 220kW / 320kWh buffer unit for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station which helps reduce peaks in electricity demand from the charging station by more than 80%, reducing strain on the local grid. The system is based around Northvolt’s modular battery system, Voltrack, using lithium-ion battery modules. 

Speaking with in February, Northvolt president for energy solutions Emad Zand said the project demonstrates that the company is serious about “driving change, beyond the automotive space”

2 November 2020: Aggreko helps Texas utility coop meet energy demands and support grid

Aggreko has supplied Texas utility cooperative Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s (PEC’s) first-ever battery storage system, commissioned earlier this year.

The mobile and modular power solutions provider which bought up energy storage system integration pioneer company Younicos a couple of years ago, said it installed and commissioned the 2.25MW / 4.5MWh in Texas’ Johnson City. The company announced the deal back in May 2019. 

An Aggreko representative told that the system “will provide market-based regulation services to the state's grid operator, ERCOT”.

“The battery system is connected to the grid via Aggreko’s proprietary power electronic converters and is managed by the company’s intelligent software and controls system. PEC will assess the results of this installation to determine the potential for additional battery installations”.

A growing number of providers have spotted the potential of energy storage in Texas, particularly in ERCOT-run energy markets. Aggreko said this will be the company’s sixth project in the US state, including the Notrees wind farm project which was completed a few years ago under the Younicos name. 

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