CellCube to bring grid scale vanadium battery to South Australia

by Jessica Bassano

Renewables firm Pangea Energy and vanadium battery producer CellCube have signed on to build a 50-MW storage system alongside a solar farm in South Australia.

Construction of the 50-MW/200-MWh grid-scale battery is expected to begin before the end of the year, with plans to be operational in 2020.

Pangea Energy is part of Sen Tek Energy Solutions, a multinational renewable energy project developer in South East Asia. It signed the letter of intent with Canadian energy storage systems manufacturer CellCube this week.

Developed across 79 ha in Port Augusta, the US $200 million (AU $290 million) project is the latest in a string of solar and wind farms proposed to be built in South Australia’s Mid North.

CellCube develops, manufactures, and markets its vanadium redox flow technology energy storage systems, which it says can maintain 99 percent residual energy capacity after 11,000 cycles.

CellCube CEO Stefan Schauss said the battery would offer multiple grid services such as voltage compensation, reactive power and frequency regulation services and renewable baseload to the Australian market alongside a planned 50MW solar project on the same site.

He said the project was a wonderful example of how renewable energy generation and “safe, reliable and sustainable energy storage technology such as the vanadium redox-flow battery” can provide renewable baseload energy.

“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,” Schauss said.

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

The town of Port Augusta has a population of 6500 and is located about 300km north of Adelaide, the South Australian capital.

The closure of the 784MW coal-fired Port Augusta power stations in 2016 signaled an important transition for South Australia, allowing the state to focus on renewables and become a global leader in wind and solar generation.

This has included the commissioning of several major wind farms, the nearby Bungala Solar Power Project and the installation of Tesla’s “Ëœworld’s biggest battery’ at Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm in the state’s Mid North.

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta also announced this week his GFG Alliance had received government approval to build its 280-MW Cultana Solar Farm at nearby Whyalla.

Pangea CEO Leo Chiang Lin said CellCube was an ideal partner for the solar farm and battery project in Port Augusta.

“Choosing vanadium and working with CellCube as market leader in the vanadium related storage industry is a perfect match for our project,” he said.

“Australia has massive vanadium resources and the exploration of vanadium is pretty simple, cheap and does not have the impact on nature and labour conditions such as cobalt or other rare earths in the lithium industry.”

The Pangea storage project was initiated in 2016 and, after securing regulatory approvals, is on the later stages of predevelopment.

This article was first published by The Lead and was reprinted with permission. 

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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