Pivot Power and Invinity Energy Systems have signed the first rental contract in the UK for grid-scale vanadium flow batteries, to support the Oxford Energy Superhub.
The battery supplier will rent the battery’s electrolyte out to the investor developing the project, thereby helping lower the upfront cost of getting the system deployed.
Before Invinity Energy Systems was formed by a merger last year between US-headquartered flow battery provider Avalon Battery and UK counterpart redT, Avalon started up the business model of renting out battery electrolytes to customers.
Now, the company has partnered with with minerals company and vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals forming the special purpose vehicle (SPV) Vanadium Electrolyte Rental Limited (VERL). Customers can rent the electrolyte over the lifetime of a project, offsetting their initial capital outlay.
The first customer is Pivot Power, a developer and investor of energy storage and other advanced energy projects, majority-owned by EDF Renewables. Pivot is working on the Energy Superhub Oxford - an ambitious low-carbon smart energy system in England which will integrate diverse distributed energy technologies including multiple chargers for electric vehicles (EV), heat pumps and a ‘hybrid’ battery.
The hybrid battery system will perform frequency response tasks by participating in fast frequency response tenders: combining 50MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage supplied by Wartsila with Invinity’s 2MW / 5MWh vanadium flow battery. Invinity forebearer redT partnered with Bushveld Minerals on electrolyte supply for the project in March as the project got approval to go ahead.
Controlled as one asset by an energy management system (EMS) that will juggle the optimum charge/discharge schedule, the flow battery will do the ‘heavy lifting’, preventing degradation wear and tear on the lithium-ion. Pivot Power will rent the electrolyte in the flow battery for 10 years from VERL.
This article was originally published on Energy Storage News.