South Australia to host 200MWh flow battery

CellCube system will convert 50MW of nearby solar output to baseload generation

CellCube has signed a letter of intent with Pangea Energy to build a 50MW long duration energy storage system in Port Augusta, South Australia.

The 200 megawatt-hour system will provide baseload generation from a co-located 50MW solar farm being built at the same 79 hectare site by Pangea.

The flow battery will also earn revenues from providing grid services, such as voltage compensation, reactive power and frequency regulation.

Pangea Energy will build, own and operate the system, which uses vanadium redox flow technology and will also procure products and services from CellCube.

The developer will invest $200m dollars in the project, stimulating the local economy, creating direct and indirect jobs, and “supporting aspirations of Port Augusta to be a renewable energy hub,” said Pangea.

Pangea director of project development Leo Chiang Lin said: "Following several market and technology evaluations we have seen significant improvements in flow battery technology."

New kid on the block...chain. Blockchain technology may have its roots in the financial sector, but numerous other industries -- including renewable energy -- are finding uses for the decentralized platform technology. Privately held Conjule, for example, uses a blockchain platform to enable the peer-to-peer trading of excess energy generated by homeowners' solar panels. On a larger scale, utilities are also finding uses for blockchain-based solutions from energy trading to EV charging. Navigant Research estimates that total utility spending on various blockchain-based platforms is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2026.

CellCube chief executive Stefan Schauss said: “Our new high performing CellCube is three times more efficient than any power-2-x or hydrogen technology which will not be available at this scale in the next three years.

“CellCube also offers a lifetime support of 25 years with no degradation or augmentation, needed for lithium. This is real true value for money."

CellCube said following large-scale energy storage projects based on lithium-ion batteries, authorities in Australia are encouraging the use of longer duration storage technology to enable renewables baseload in the gigawatt-hour range.

Pangea Energy chief executive Luis Chiang said: "From the beginning, we had always considered vanadium redox flow technology.

"Australia has massive vanadium resources and the exploration of vanadium is pretty simple and cheap with less of an impact on nature and labour conditions, compared with cobalt or other rare earths needed in lithium ion battery production.”

Pangea Energy was set up in July 2016 with the aim of addressing network stability issues with increased intermittent generation and reduced local, baseload generation in South Australia.

One wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes.

The company is owned by Sen Tek Energy Solutions, a multinational renewable energy project developer in south-east Asia.