ViZn goes for flow battery growth

Redox flow battery company ViZn Energy Systems has announced a major production deal with Jabil Circuit that could see zinc-iron overtaking vanadium flow batteries.

Redox flow battery company ViZn Energy Systems has announced a major production deal with Jabil Circuit that could see zinc-iron overtaking vanadium flow batteries.

By Jason Deign

Redox flow battery manufacturer ViZn Energy Systems yesterday announced a deal with Jabil Circuit that could see production increasing to 80MW per year in 2016.

The manufacturing partnership should enable ViZn to fulfil in excess of 21MWh of “planned installations in hand,” Ron Van Dell, president and CEO, told Energy Storage Report.

ViZn currently has little more than 1MWh of installed systems in North America and Europe.

However, said Van Dell: “Our flow battery is capable of scaling to tens of megawatts, which makes it ideal for large-scale applications.

“As a result, both utility customers as well as commercial and industrial customers are particularly interested in ViZn’s product.”
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A material threat to energy storage?

The Bolivia lithium mining deal highlights the importance of rare earth batteries in energy storage. Most lithium in Bolivia is in the Uyuni salt lake.

The Bolivia lithium mining deal highlights the importance of rare earth batteries in energy storage. Most lithium in Bolivia is in the Uyuni salt lake. Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi

French moves to secure a deal on Bolivian lithium supplies last week again underscored the importance of raw materials in the commercialisation of energy storage.

An agreement on lithium production was one of four letters of intent signed between the Bolivian government and the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, or CEA).

The four signings, which also include a cooperation agreement on nuclear power, were announced last Wednesday, just as news was emerging of troubles at the French state-owned reactor maker Areva.

The lithium agreement, signed off by Bolivia’s Minister of Mining and Metallurgy, César Navarro, and Florence Lambert of the CEA, is the latest development in years of French efforts to gain rights over Bolivian lithium reserves, the largest in the world.
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