Li-Cycle announces partnership with Renewance, first western ‘Spoke’ plant


Li-Cycle, the largest capacity lithium-ion battery recycling company in North America, has announced a partnership with Renewance, a life-cycle battery management company, to deliver a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective lithium-ion battery recycling solution for end-of-life energy storage systems.

Prior to the partnership, the two companies have been collaborating on energy storage projects since the beginning of 2020. The two are now looking to align their strengths in lithium-ion battery recycling and battery life cycle management software. They are also collaborating on services to help developers and utilities decommission energy storage systems safely, recover the valuable materials from within the end-of-life batteries, and return those materials to the economy.

“Renewance and Li-Cycle share the same mission to enable a more sustainable battery energy storage ecosystem,” said Tom Newhall, Chief Operating Officer of Renewance.

Newhall believes that Renewance will be able to provide immediate value for Li-Cycle, via his company’s deep level of experience on regulatory considerations for battery decommissioning and reverse supply chain processes.

Li-Cycle also recently announced plans to build its third North American ‘Spoke’ plant in the Phoenix area, becoming the first such plant located West of the Mississippi.

For Li-Cycle, a ‘Spoke,’ facility is one which produces a ‘black mass’ from spent lithium-ion batteries. This material is then sent to a ‘Hub’ facility, a wet chemistry/hydrometallurgical plant that will refine battery-grade materials from ‘black mass.’ The first Hub is set to be operational in 2022 in Rochester, New York.

The company’s long-term commercial goal is that a handful of regional Spoke plants will produce ‘black mass’ for a regional Hub plant to then refine, rather than having to ship black mass all the way across the country.

The Phoenix location was chosen due to its proximity to California, an early adopter of energy storage projects, and thus will be the site of the first large wave of retiring storage systems.

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