The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market
Premium

The pros and cons of Britishvolt’s pivot to ESS under new owners

LinkedIn
Twitter
Reddit
Facebook
Email

The decision by the new owners of UK gigafactory startup Britishvolt to pivot its initial focus towards energy storage rather than EVs has pros and cons, a senior industry consultant told Energy-Storage.news.

Australia-based Recharge Industries acquired Britishvolt in February after the company startup went into administration at the start of 2023, having failed to secure the additional investor funding to continue trading. Britishvolt has been aiming to build a lithium-ion battery plant near the Port of Blyth in Northumberland, with a required investment of around £4 billion (US$4.9 billion).

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Enjoy 12 months of exclusive analysis

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Annual digital subscription to the PV Tech Power journal
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Recharge is owned by New York-based investment fund Scale Facilitation. Scale’s CEO David Collard told BBC News in an interview last month that Britishvolt now plans to focus on energy storage and hopes to have the first products available by 2025.

Energy-Storage.news has requested additional comment from both Recharge Industries and Scale Facilitation numerous times about the decision, and how the company views the energy storage system (ESS) market, but has not received a response.

Dr. Nicolo Campagnol, manager of global consultancy McKinsey’s Battery Insights subsidiary, told Energy-Storage.news there are pros and cons to a switch in target market from EVs to ESS.

“Looking at battery cell supply/demand dynamics in Europe today, there is still space for producing non-captive battery cells for OEMs. Of course, your cost/performance etc has to be right, but that’s a problem in every market. A change in tack towards ESS can have some advantages but also downsides,” he said.

“First, you can sell what you produce while you ramp up rather than being closely tied to the OEMs’ production schedule, and you face fewer entry barriers than in the e-mobility market where only 3-4 suppliers at most are selected for each platform.”

“At the same time, in the ESS market the competition is more global than regional, and the market is also comparatively smaller. Pivoting to the ESS market also means you will face the dilemma of whether to integrate downstream with a full ESS solution or not.”

While the vast majority of lithium-ion battery supply goes to the EV sector, there is a growing number of ESS-focused gigafactories being developed in geographies with the more advanced existing energy storage ecosystems, like the US, Europe and China.

Lithium-ion battery OEM LG Energy Solution this week announced it will build a new battery cell factory in Arizona, US, which will have 16GWh of annual production dedicated to the ESS market. Turkish firm Pomega is building a smaller, 6GWh facility in South Carolina which will be entirely dedicated to ESS as will one from new company American Battery Factory (ABF), also in Arizona. All are set to come online between 2024 and 2026.

In Europe, Swedish gigafactory firm Northvolt is setting up a facility in Poland which will manufacture ESS solutions using the firm’s own lithium-ion cells, while China is significantly ramping up its ESS-dedicated gigafactory capacity.

22 October 2024
New York, USA
Returning for its 11th edition, Solar and Storage Finance USA Summit remains the annual event where decision-makers at the forefront of solar and storage projects across the United States and capital converge. Featuring the most active solar and storage transactors, join us for a packed two-days of deal-making, learning and networking.
18 March 2025
Austin, Texas
The Energy Storage Summit USA is the only place where you are guaranteed to meet all the most important investors, developers, IPPs, RTOs and ISOs, policymakers, utilities, energy buyers, service providers, consultancies and technology providers in one room, to ensure that your deals get done as efficiently as possible. Book your ticket today to join us in 2025!

Read Next

Premium
June 18, 2024
Octopus Energy’s head of flexibility discussed its tolling deal with Gresham House for nearly 1GWh of BESS projects, including how they will fit into its VPP portfolio and whether their energy market activity could change under its control.
June 18, 2024
RWE has moved forward with proposals for a 350MW battery energy storage system (BESS) to be located next to its Pembroke Power Station in Wales, UK.
June 14, 2024
System integrator Stem Inc and developer Prometheus Power have deployed the first of three co-located BESS projects in Arizona for utilities in the AEPCO co-operative.
June 13, 2024
US$5 million will be made available for long-duration energy storage (LDES) projects via a competitive solicitation run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
June 13, 2024
Liquid air energy storage firm Highview Power has raised £300 million (US$384 million) from the UK Infrastructure Bank and utility Centrica to immediately start building its first large-scale project.

Most Popular

Email Newsletter