Here’s the story from Renewable Energy World:
Having worked in stealth mode for the past 10 years, German researchers and serial entrepreneur Jostein Eikeland have developed a new battery chemistry that they claim is non-combustible and highly efficient. The batteries, say Alevo, have at their core a new inorganic electrolyte that eliminates “both the risk of combustion and explosion and massively reduces the debilitating effects of charging cycles.”
According to the company Alevo has demonstrated in testing that its batteries can be charged up to 40,000 times with no signs of increase in internal resistance. This testing included over-charging followed by deep discharging.
The technology will be manufactured into what the company calls a “GridBank,” which is a large container-sized 2-MW utility scale battery that in conjunction with the company’s battery management system, which it calls Alevo Analytics, will work to make the grid more efficient and smooth out fluctuations in energy caused by intermittent renewables like wind power and solar PV. “What this means in practice is lower costs to the utilities, smaller bills for the consumer and a reduction in greenhouse gases per megawatt that will help cost-effective coal-fired generation achieve the EPA Clean Power limits,” said Eikeland in a statement.
GridBanks will be manufactured in Concord, North Carolina in a former Phillip-Morris cigarette factory, which is opening today. The manufacturing plant will create 2,500 jobs at the outset and will employ as many as 6,000 people when (and if) it reaches peak production capacity. Alevo says that the factory will be able to produce up to 480 GridBanks, (almost 1 GW of energy storage capacity) in the first year of production, set to begin in 2015. The company said it will be deploying and commissioning production lines that will produce 40 GridBanks per month by July 2015.
The article refers to 2 MW capacity, but storage capacity of batteries is measured in megawatt hours (MWh). The Alevo Web site describes its GridBank’s capacity as 1 MWh.
Grid scale storage is maturing, and the Alevo plant is another big step forward. Note that this plant is estimated to cost $1 billion. Note that the initial projected cost of the PATH line was $1.2 billion. So a manufacturing plant that could be turning out more than 400 1 MWh storage banks per month would cost about the same as one HV transmission project. Frequency and voltage regulation were introduced late in the PSC cases by PJM to bolster their failing project. Which looks like a better deal to you, a one time transmission line in a single location or a factory that will produce hundreds of grid scale storage units every year?
Oh yeah, and the plant will create 2500 jobs when it opens.