EnerVenue, a nickel-hydrogen battery startup that launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in summer 2020, and Pine Gate Renewables have a multi-year agreement under which Pine Gate will procure and deploy 2400 MWh of EnerVenue’s battery energy storage systems in the United States to support their growing energy storage project pipeline.
Much like yesterday’s supply announcement between Pine Gate and alkaline battery startup, Urban Electric Power, EnerVenue’s batteries will be supplied to Pine Gate to provide a choice in storage technology for Pine Gate’s development partners and customers, giving said customers the freedom to choose a technology that meets long-term reliability, energy and capacity needs.
EnerVenue is betting on the success of metal hydrogen batteries, specifically nickel-hydrogen batteries. This chemistry has proven to be an incredibly powerful energy storage technology for the aerospace industry for quite some time, but was always held back from greater commercial success due to its high price. According to Dr. Yi Cui, chief technology advisor with EnerVenue, the company has been able to achieve commercialization via “a breakthrough competitive price using new low-cost materials.”
Unlike lithium-ion, EnerVenue’s metal-hydrogen batteries excel operating in conditions of extreme heat and extreme cold. Specifically, the solution operates optimally from -40° to 140°F ambient temperatures. Because of this, the battery comes with no risk of fire or thermal runaway and also includes no toxic materials, making it recyclable, a huge tip in its favor, as recycling of materials is only going to grow in importance as the renewable energy industry grows and evolves.
EnerVenue claims that the company’s batteries have a more than 30-year lifespan, can go through more than 30,000 cycles without experiencing degradation and offer exceptional overcharge, overdischarge, and deep-cycle capabilities. The company also claims cost-per-kilowatt-hour as low as a penny, as well as capital expenditure costs that beat lithium-ion. The company stresses its use of low-cost materials.
“EnerVenue batteries offer a differentiated value proposition – lower degradation across a wide temperature band, and lower cost for maintenance and augmentation, whilst posing no fire or thermal runaway risk. These batteries also have a stackable form factor and can last for more than 30-years while being able to cycle multiple times a day,” said Raafe Khan, director of Energy Storage at Pine Gate Renewables. “We are proud to partner with EnerVenue in bringing this technology to our customers, further bolstering our unwavering commitment to strengthen the domestic supply chain and build a sustainable energy storage ecosystem in the United States.”
EnerVenue signed its first major distribution agreement with Towngas, Hong Kong’s first public utility and one of the largest energy suppliers in greater China, in spring 2021. EnerVenue CEO Jorg Heinemann said, at the time of the deal, that securing large, anchor customers like Towngas quickly would be paramount to the company’s success, and a multi-GWh supply agreement with Pine Gate certainly qualifies.
As for meeting the product demand these large customers will bring, Heinemann said he is confident in his technology’s ability to scale.
“It’s designed for super-easy manufacturing and super-easy assembly,” Heinemann said. Expectations are that the manufacturing, tooling, and capital expenditure cost will be about one-fifth of that for equivalent lithium-ion capacity.
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