ROUNDUP: Stem software in 345MWh, Eos buys out manufacturing JV, Softbank invests in vanadium ion

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Stem Inc commercial and industrial (C&I) battery storage installation. Image: Stem Inc.

14 April 2021: Stem Inc transfers existing 345MWh commercial VPP portfolio’s software platform

Artificial intelligence-driven commercial energy storage provider Stem Inc has put its Athena software platform in a 345MWh portfolio of California assets in an IT handover that only took two months.

The company was appointed to put the Athena software to manage the 86-site commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage asset portfolio by its joint owners, South Korean technology company SK E&S and Switzerland-headquartered investment fund SUSI Partners in June, as reported by at the time.

Athena provides intelligence and real-time decision-making capabilities to the energy storage systems, enabling end-customers to manage their energy costs and usage, particularly at times of peak demand while also providing local utility Southern California Edison (SCE) with a controllable capacity resource.

Stem Inc said this week that after transferring the portfolio within two months of landing the contract from SK and SUSI’s joint venture (JV) company Electrodes Holdings, the sites have been operating successfully for six months and have realised an average 30% increase in savings versus the previously installed software.

Stem Inc is currently targeting a New York Stock Exchange listing of its shares via merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Star Peak Energy Transition Corp. Star Peak said yesterday that a special meeting of its stockholders will be held on 27 April to approve the business combination with Stem.

15 April 2021: Zinc battery player Eos buys manufacturing JV stake from nuclear company Holtec

Aqueous zinc battery energy storage company Eos Energy Enterprises has bought out its partner in a manufacturing joint venture (JV), nuclear equipment company Holtec.

The long-duration energy storage technology and systems provider, which already listed on the NASDAQ exchange through a SPAC merger in November has announced a number of recent contract wins to provide its technology in geographies including Greece, India and around the US.

It had established HI-POWER, a manufacturing partnership with Holtec in 2019, leaning on Eos’ battery manufacturing design automation technology and Holtec’s decades-long history of manufacturing equipment for nuclear energy facilities. A manufacturing facility was established at Holtec’s Pittsburgh base.

Eos Energy Enterprises said earlier this week that it has acquired the remaining 51% equity in HI-POWER and has assumed full control over supply chain, back-office, personnel and day-to-day management relating to the venture and will continue manufacturing at the site. Eos will pay Holtec back its initial US$10 million capital contribution it made in the venture and five further US$5 million annual instalments.

15 April 2021: Softbank Ventures Asia invests in novel vanadium ion battery company – report

Venture capital group Softbank Ventures Asia appears to have invested in Standard Energy, a South Korea-based startup developing and commercialising a novel vanadium ion battery for stationary storage applications.

Softbank Ventures Asia, the VC arm of telecommunications group Softbank, posted a link to a news story from technology website Techcrunch on its social media channels including LinkedIn and Facebook which said that an investment was made in a US$8.9 million Series C funding round. The news was also covered in various South Korean news channels.

Standard Energy did not respond to a request for confirmation and more details from by the time of publication. According to the company’s website, what it has developed is dissimilar to both lithium-ion and vanadium redox flow batteries, claiming Standard Energy has “created a battery the world has never seen before”.

Standard Energy claims the vanadium ion battery has 96% energy efficiency and capable of continuous high power operation without additional cooling. Like vanadium redox flow batteries, it promises long-term capacity retention and unlike lithium-ion has “zero ignition risk”, even through over-voltage, exposure to high temperatures and penetration. Standard Energy claims it has already been through more than a million hours of test time from lab scale to field testing.

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