Australian Vanadium Ltd’s (ASX:AVL) 100%-owned renewable energy and energy storage subsidiary VSUN Energy will receive three 5kW/30kWh VRFBs (vanadium redox flow batteries) from Singaporean manufacturer V-Flow Tech Pte Ltd.
The batteries are due to arrive in Fremantle during September.
AVL and VSUN Energy have previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding with V-Flow for vanadium pentoxide offtake, vanadium electrolyte supply, VRFB sales, installation, service and maintenance.
“Valuable local operating examples”
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: “VSUN Energy and AVL have developed a strong relationship with V-Flow Tech and we are excited to be receiving V-Flow’s first batteries in Australia.
“The three installations will further increase our experience and provide valuable local operating examples of this Australian-invented storage technology.
“AVL’s manufacturing grant from the Australian Government enables us to accelerate the construction of Australia’s first vanadium electrolyte plant, to provide the key supply element to this emerging industry.
“The Australian Vanadium Project is at the forefront of this emerging market and driving its growth.”
Beverley Caravan Park installation
The first of the three batteries is destined for Beverley Caravan Park which is operated by the Shire of Beverley.
The caravan park currently offers 19 powered sites and the VRFB will help the Shire to shift daytime renewable production to evening and nighttime use for the park's customers.
VSUN Energy has already installed the 26kW solar array that will be paired with the battery.
Under current feed in tariffs, any excess energy not used by the park is fed back to the grid, with no financial benefit to the Shire.
Shifting this otherwise ‘wasted’ energy will allow an increase in renewable consumption for the park and also allow it to reduce energy costs over the next 25 years and beyond.
Rural residential property installation
The second battery will be installed at a rural residential property in regional Western Australia as part of a standalone power system (SPS).
The client has decided to run his site with an SPS, rather than connect to the Western Power network, due to the high outages traditionally seen in his area, as well as the significant costs associated with a grid connection.
The customer selected the VRFB SPS due to its long lifespan, lack of degradation, robustness and non-flammability.
WA energy utility installation
The final battery of the three will be used in a test project with a WA energy utility.
Its installation will enable both VSUN Energy, external engineers, and potential clients to use a local working example of a VRFB, rather than examining installations and data from other countries.
This will provide further proof of concept and the learnings required to support decisions on energy storage technology options.
Increasing adoption of VRFBs
The supply of the three batteries is not material to VSUN Energy but is part of the development of the binding agreement with V-Flow as outlined in the MOU.
VSUN Energy’s core objective is the growth of the market for VRFBs in Australia in conjunction with renewable energy.
Australian market demand for VRFBs as a long duration, safe, and sustainable storage technology is limited only by the market’s understanding and sufficient operating examples.
Further sales will lead to an increase in VRFB use.
Manufacturing vanadium electrolyte
AVL plans to produce high-quality vanadium pentoxide from its mining operation south of Meekatharra and processing plant located east of Geraldton.
The company’s vanadium electrolyte plant is to be located in WA and then duplicated elsewhere as demand grows.
AVL has recently been awarded a $3.69 million grant from the Australian Government to support the rollout of VRFBs and the manufacture of vanadium electrolyte.
The 5kW/30kWh battery from V-Flow Tech is well suited to provide long-duration energy storage, driven by abundant renewable energy for Australian rural residential properties and small commercial and agricultural sites.
VSUN Energy aims to collaborate with V-Flow Tech to develop the capability to undertake the majority of the manufacture of V-Flow VRFB systems in Australia, with key elements such as the cell stacks being brought in from Singapore.