US-based battery cell maker to supply 18 GWh to off-grid solar generator provider

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American Battery Factory (ABF), a company developing a network of lithium ferro-phosphate (LFP) battery cell factories, announced it reached an 18 GWh supply deal with Lion Energy. The LFP cells are expected to be integrated into Lion Energy’s set of products, including portable solar generators, and energy storage systems with residential, commercial, and utility-scale operations. 

Image: Lion Energy

ABF will provide high-capacity prismatic cells with outputs ranging from 50 Ah to 300 Ah. Lion Energy will begin with a 1.2 GWh supply annually, growing to 6 GWh annually over a five-year period. 

“Adding a scalable, onshore U.S. supplier for batteries is the missing link for energy independence; ABF and Lion Energy are dedicated to creating the pathway to 100% renewable energy,” said Frank Davis, CEO of Lion Energy. The US-based solar and storage provider is headquartered in American Fork, Utah.

In March, ABF announced it planned to set up a network of LFP fabrications across the US. The company was incubated by Lion Energy, a mobile battery and solar generator provider that reported $100 million in sales in 2021. 

The factories are designed with a modular approach, able to be constructed rapidly in 3 GWh “pods,” said ABF. “Pods” can be built on-site of pack integrators like Lion Energy, thereby localizing one segment of the supply chain. 

LFP batteries have known benefits in eliminating the need for cobalt, a key element that is connected to labor, environmental, and health concerns. Cobalt is also a key culprit in thermal runaway, which leads to fires in traditional lithium-ion batteries. LFP chemistries significantly reduce that risk, said ABF. 

“Pack integrators, energy solution providers and a host of other potential battery customers are in need of and searching for U.S.-based lithium battery manufacturers to help them diversify their supply chain as well as to unlock market opportunities that specify the need for onshore battery technology and applications, including home, business and grid-level energy storage systems, U.S. military applications and targeted e-Mobility uses such as trucks, buses, trains and agriculture vehicles.” Paul Charles, president and CEO of ABF. 

DOE funds for battery supply chain 

Last June, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $200 million in funding for EV development and the battery supply chain. Its vision for the next decade is the establishment of a secure battery materials and technology supply chain. 

DOE announced goals of securing a US-based lithium battery supply chain.
Image: Department of Energy

Image: Wikimedia

The DOE is directing the $200 million in funds via a blueprint by the Federal Consortium of Advanced Batteries, which outlined five goals. First, to secure access to raw and refined materials and discover alternatives for critical minerals. Second, to support the growth of a United States material-processing base to meet domestic battery demand. Third, to the nation’s electrode, cell, and pack manufacturing sectors. Fourth, to enable end-of-life reuse and recycling at scale. And fifth, to advance U.S. battery technology leadership through the support of R&D, STEM education, and workforce development. 

ABF said its batteries will qualify for “US-made” requirements and will support the above DOE goals. It said the batteries have applications in grid-scale, commercial, and residential energy storage, select EVs like trucks, agricultural vehicles, trams, e-bikes, etc. 

Off-grid power aids Ukraine 

Last month, Lion Energy announced it donated nearly $400,000 of energy storage systems, portable solar PV modules, and lighting accessories to Ukraine, supporting citizens who are defending their country from the Russian invasion. 

Image: Lion Energy

The company sent portable generators, including the Lion Safari LT and Lion Safari ME, portable power packs, and portable solar panels, including the Lion 100-watt panel. LED light build strings and solar extension cables were included in the donation. 

To Ukraine With Love, a non-profit organization built by a Ukranian living in the US, Svitlana Miller, received the donations. Miller has been collecting first aid kits, walkie-talkies, groceries, drones, and more. 

With centralized power compromised in many areas, Lion Energy’s portable PV and battery power station donations can help Ukrainians like Miller’s family stay in touch with their loved ones and have a source of lighting while the grid is knocked out. 

Click here for more information on To Ukraine With Love.

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