Australia one step closer to 24/7 green power supply with North Harbour Clean Energy and CellCube plans for Vanadium Redox Flow Battery manufacturing facility and purchase of 4MW-16MWh VRFB lighthouse project
November 23rd, 2022, Wiener Neudorf, Austria and Sydney, Australia.
The global high-tech leader for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFB), Enerox GmbH, better known as ‘CellCube’, and Australian clean energy storage owner and operator, North Harbour Clean Energy PTY Ltd (NHCE), have signed a Strategic Manufacturing Cooperation Agreement to build an assembly and manufacturing line in Eastern Australia to meet GWh demand for long duration energy storage in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
The first project executed by the partnership will be developing the continent’s largest VRFB, which generates 4MW-16MWh based on CellCube’s proprietary technology. CellCube and NHCE will also conduct a feasibility study and work towards a final investment decision on a 50:50 joint venture to manufacture VRFBs in Australia.
VRFBs are large-scale, battery storage systems which can store excess power from the grid and can be used in combination or parallel with other renewable energy sources to allow for cheaper, safer, and more scalable energy consumption.
VRFBs do not suffer from the multiple issues faced with lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) such as their flammable nature, short life span, rapid degradation, lack of recyclability and lack of flexibility. On a levelised cost of storage basis, VRFBs already outperform LIBs whilst having none of the drawbacks associated with them.
There is significant demand for long duration energy storage systems such as VRFBs to allow for 24/7 delivery of carbon free electricity to meet net-zero goals driven by the demand to meet Australia’s legislated carbon reduction targets and the rapid build out of utility-scale variable renewable energy together with the accelerated shutdown of baseload coal-fired generators.
NHCE – which is backed by one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, Aware Super – has already secured a large project pipeline to include deployments of VRFBs.
“We are excited to bring manufacturing of this Australian-invented and critical energy storage technology to Australia with our strategic partner CellCube”, said NHCE Managing Director and founder Tony Schultz.
“NHCE and CellCube will collectively review and select the best site to deliver initial annual production capacity of at least 40MW/160MWh, with a target of 1000MW/8000MWh per year and creating more than 200 new jobs in the short term.
“We believe there are two factors behind our belief that VRFB is the right grid-energy storage technology to install in Australia at scale. The first is that VRFB technology, having been developed in Australia at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in the mid 1980’s, is now on the road to being an accepted alternative battery energy storage technology globally while the second is Australia’s abundant vanadium resources.”
NHCE and UNSW last year launched a jointly-owned company focussed on further improving the cost and efficiency of this cost-competitive technology.
CellCube CEO Alexander Schoenfeldt said: “Following our own research & development initiatives both internationally and in Australia to support the vision of large-scale production and deployment of VRFBs as the preferred energy storage technology long term, we are thrilled to have NHCE as a strategic partner in Australia. This cooperation with NHCE follows our business strategy to strengthen regional partnership, create a local product offering and enhance our work with Australian supply chain partners to build well designed megawatt microgrids.
In addition, Australia has around 20% of known global Vanadium resources and it makes economic sense to use local Vanadium instead importing it from elsewhere.”
As part of the Agreement, a 4MW-16MWh CellCube system will be installed at an industrial customer to showcase the various applications which will enable them to move towards net-zero emissions targets.
NHCE Executive Director of Development Steve Banning said the Agreement’s objective was to provide 24/7 green power supply arrangements to support industrial and commercial customers looking to increase their use of renewable energy sources, and who face severe issues on power quality, grid constraints, rising network costs and high-power prices.
“In addition, we will be warranting the systems produced for 20,000 cycles or approximately 20 years of use,” he said.
Mr Schoenfeldt said he was excited to see the Australian market quickly picking up the opportunity of VRFBs and “to have North Harbour Clean Energy as a strategic partner who is committed to finance projects in the energy transition”.
“We have more than 140 systems deployed globally including several small-scale pilots in Australia and New Zealand but have been searching for the missing piece of the puzzle that makes 24/7 renewable energy available in Australia,” he said adding North Harbour Clean Energy was the answer.
Under its trademark ‘CellCube’ Enerox GmbH develops, manufactures and deploys Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries internationally. ‘VRFB’s are sustainable, long-duration energy storage systems, securing and accelerating the energy transition towards a future of net-zero renewable power generation. Enerox is a developing pioneer and the global technology and industry leader in its field of operation. The bankable VRFB systems suite various microgrid applications alongside four focused business segments: resilient microgrids for industrial and commercial customers, energy storage for remote microgrids and island solutions as well as long-duration back-up systems for green and critical infrastructure facilities. More than 140 CellCube systems have been deployed across 20 countries and all climate zones on the planet. Enerox is headquartered in Vienna, Austria with an office in Denver, Colorado for its North American operation. www.cellcube.com
Alexander Schoenfeldt, CEO Enerox GmbH, CEO CellCube Inc.
Yvonne Steinhaeusser, Head of Corporate & Marketing Communications
+43 676 843 669 126
About North Harbour Clean Energy PTY Ltd.
NHCE is an Australian company with a vision to build an at-scale energy storage platform. Established by energy sector professionals with deep domain knowledge, it has assembled a truly unique portfolio of pumped hydro development projects, together with a number of opportunities for grid-scale behind the meter vanadium redox flow batteries. NHCE is backed by a cornerstone investment from Aware Super, one of Australia’s largest super funds managing $150 billion on behalf of its 1.1 million members.
Tony Schultz, Managing Director
Steve Banning, Executive Director Development