A new player has emerged on the scene in the energy storage market. A Reuters article features a Swiss company called Alevo which has been developing a battery technology over the last ten years, and says it is now ready to deploy it as an energy storage technology to help with capturing energy from intermittent energy sources (wind, solar) and also balancing power loads on the grid.
Alevo CEO Jostein Eikeland unveiled their battery technology in Concord, North Carolina on October 27th, displaying a GridBank — a shipping container filled with batteries. Alevo has purchased an old Philip Morris tobacco factory in Concord which will be their manufacturing base. The company claims that their ‘inorganic lithium’ battery technology is superior to anything else on the market, saying ‘due to its inorganic nature, the battery is non-flammable (Safety) and creates minimal internal resistance (Long Life).’ Alevo is offering a 20 year warranty on the batteries.
A detailed report on battery tests performed by Irish firm Accenture can be downloaded here (email required)
Alevo has managed to secure $1 billion from Swiss investors and plans to employ 2,500 people in the next three years.
From the Article:
‘”Building as big as we did, it might seem a little bit risky,” said Eikeland, who described himself as “a controversial guy.”
“Producing on a mass scale will make Alevo’s technology cost- effective from the start, Eikeland said. The high cost of grid storage has prevented it from being deployed more widely.
“Eikeland plans to deliver 200 megawatts of batteries – roughly enough to power 100,000 homes – into the U.S. market next year and is in talks with big utilities, which he hopes will become customers.’
Below is an infographic from Alevo’s website outlining their business strategy.
A recent press release announced that Alevo has signed an agreement with a Chinese company, China-ZK International Energy Investment Co, Ltd., to promote and commercialize its technology in China.
Energy storage is considered to be an essential component for solar and wind power to become widespread, and any genuine breakthrough in battery technology will be very helpful in that effort. It remains to be seen how effective Alevo’s technology will be in the marketplace, but $1 billion in investments indicates that there is some confidence behind this company.
I think it’s just coincidence, but having a new company start up in North Carolina, offering a new energy solution in shipping containers is a familiar approach to readers here!