East Penn Expands Innovation Investment by Acquiring Majority Share of Navitas Systems

East Penn has announced the acquisition of a majority interest in Navitas Systems, a leader in larger-format lithium battery technology and systems for heavy-duty commercial/industrial as well as government/defense market segments. The acquisition will accelerate East Penn’s expansion of its Motive Power battery offering, as well as its strategic integration into other market segments. Navitas products will complement East Penn’s offerings, and its lithium Research and Development expertise will add to East Penn’s current lithium R&D program.

Department of Energy Commits $20.5M to Spark Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced plans for a $20.5 million investment in lithium-ion battery recycling, with the goal of boosting capture rates to 90%, from a current rate of less than 5%. These investments include $15 million to create a new Lithium Battery R&D Recycling Center in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The remaining $5.5 million will be used as prize money in a contest seeking “solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling.” According to DOE, the contest will be “designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype to demonstration.”

Costs Continue to Decline for Residential and Commercial Photovoltaics in 2018

Continuing an annual NREL cost benchmarking effort that began in 2010, “U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2018,” found installed costs of PV systems declined across two of three sectors in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier. The other report, “2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Cost Benchmark,” establishes NREL’s first benchmark of PV-plus-storage costs. Both reports and their models can be used to estimate future cost-reduction opportunities for PV and PV-plus-storage systems, helping to guide research and track costs.

Hotel to Operate on Battery Power in Edinburgh

An Edinburgh hotel is claimed to be the first in the UK to be powered by battery. The Gyle Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park has installed a five-tonne battery. It will charge from the grid in off-peak periods and power the 200-room site for several hours each day. The lithium ion battery will save the hotel £20,000 a year on its energy bill. It is able to power the hotel, including the restaurant, for up to three hours after a two-hour charge. Electricity company E.ON has supplied and installed the technology at the hotel and will be remotely managing the battery’s workload and efficiency from its energy management center in Glasgow.

New Lithium Hydroxide Factory in Western Australia Wins Federal Approval

Earthworks for a new lithium hydroxide factory in Western Australia are expected to begin this month after the $1bn project received federal environmental approval. The plant owned by the world’s largest lithium producer, the US chemical company Albemarle, was approved by the Western Australian government in October and is estimated to create up to 500 jobs in construction, with another 100 to 500 operational jobs once it is operational. Australia’s trade minister, Simon Birmingham, said the plant would provide a much-needed local jobs boost and supply a growing global demand for lithium, which is used in renewable energy storage.

China Making Big Battery Storage Push In 2019

China is poised to add a significant amount of battery storage to its utility grid next year. And it’s backing two horses in the energy storage race — both lithium-ion and flow batteries are part of the plan. China’s renewable energy portfolio now stands at 706 gigawatts according to Bloomberg but too much of that is wasted, or curtailed as they say in the utility industry. 7.7% of the electricity generated by wind turbines is curtailed as is 2.9% of electricity from solar panels.

Kokam Wins 40 MWh of Battery Storage Contracts in South Korea

November 29 – South Korean firm Kokam Co Ltd has secured orders to supply 40 MWh of energy storage systems linked to solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in South Korea. Kokam, a provider of lithium-ion battery cells, batteries and energy storage solutions, said on Wednesday that the capacity is split between two projects totalling 12 MWh and 28 MWh, respectively. It is expected to be put on stream by the end of this year.

Further Tax Cuts on Li-ion Would be ‘Essential Boost’ for India’s Energy Storage Industry

India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST), a single tax applicable across the whole of the country, will be lowered for lithium-ion batteries by 10% in a move which has been welcomed by the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). All goods and services are taxable under the law, which was introduced in 2017. Along with a wide range of other changes, the GST rates on lithium-ion batteries has dropped from 28% to just 18%. In related news, fuel cell vehicles will see their GST reduced from 28% to 12%.

Tesla is Building a Powerful Battery System with a Capacity of Up to 1.1 GWh

Elon Musk is not short of ambition, and for the past couple of months, he and his company Tesla have been working on a massive battery project that has the potential to make even the company’s 129 MWh project in Australia look small. The company is working in collaboration with PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric Company) to create a massive battery system in California that will have a capacity of more than 1.1 GWh.