May 2, 2019: Generac expands into ESS market; VRFB firm partners with chemical company; Tata Chemicals signs lithium ion MoU; Daimler leads $170 funding round in Sila Nano; Equity firm buys into blockchain technology, and much more…
Generac buys ESS firm to focus on market expansion
Generac Holdings, a Wisconsin, US-based UPS firm closed the buy-out of residential battery storage company Pika Energy on April 26 for an undisclosed sum.
VRFB firm energy partnership with chemical company
Flow battery firm UniEnergy Technology announced it had entered into a strategic partnership with global chemical firm The Chemours Company on April 18.
Chemours will invest in UET as well as have a long term supply agreement for Nafion ion (synthetic polymer) exchange membranes.
UET’s technology is based on an electrolyte developed at Pacific Northwest National Labs under the support of the US DOE OE Energy Storage Program.
Tata Chemicals signs a MOU to gain space grade lithium ion cells
Tata Chemicals, the Indian chemistry product maker, signed a
memorandum of understanding on March 18 with the Indian Space Research to gain knowledge
of the organization’s lithium-ion cell technology.
ISRO will transfer various space grade lithium ion cell technologies developed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, a part of ISRO, on a non-exclusive basis.
Tata aims to use the know-how to manufacture lithium ion cells of varying capacity, size, energy density and power density in India.
Sila Nano announces $170m funding round led by vehicle OEM Daimler
Battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies announced on April 16 that it had closed a Daimler led $170 million Series E funding round. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to $295 million.
In addition to the automotive OEM Daimler, investor group 8VC joined returning investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Chengwei Capital, Matrix Partners, Siemens Next47, and Sutter Hill Ventures.
The funding will allow the California, US, company to increase production of its silicon-based anodes with the goal of supplying its first commercial customer within the next year.
Schneider Electric and The Carlyle Group in microgrid partnership
Global investment firm, The Carlyle Group and energy management firm Schneider Electric announced on April 12 they were collaborating on microgrid infrastructure projects.
The Carlyle Group recently announced several large infrastructure projects, including the JFK Airport Terminal One Redevelopment, Munich Airport Joint Venture (Reach Airports) and Lone Star Ports Harbor Island Crude Export Terminal.
Equity firm buys into blockchain technology
Private equity firm Greenbacker Labs acquired a stake in renewable energy company Exergy Energy, the Missouri, US, based company announced on April 8.
Formed last year, Exergy Energy — a subsidiary of blockchain technology firm L03 — offers backup generation and security of supply to commercial and technology business customers.
LG Chem, VinFast set up lithium ion battery JV in Vietnam
South Korean battery maker LG Chem announced on April 8 it had set up a joint venture with Vietnam automaker VinFast to produce lithium ion batteries for electric scooters and cars.
The joint venture, named VLBP, will supply VinFast’s e-mobility vehicles with lithium ion batteries from the manufacturing factory it is set to build in Vietnam’s northern port city of Hai Phong.
Envision completes purchase of AESC
Chinese renewable energy firm Envision Group completed the purchase of the electric battery operations and production facilities of Automotive Energy Supply Corp, a joint venture between Nissan and NEC Group, the company announced on April 2.
The new company — Envision AESC Japan — began operations on April 1. The company falls under Envision AESC Group, the holding company Envision owns with Nissan in an 80-20 split respectively.
Envision AESC is to take control of Nissan’s battery assets in the US and UK, as well as the entire share capital of battery electrode maker NEC Energy Devices.
KepVenture, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation is to buy a minority stake in Envision AESC Group for $50 million.
Both Keppel and Envision will work to introduce internet-of-things enabled batteries.
ARENA pledges A$10m to DER firm
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has committed A$10 million ($7 million) in funding to Australian energy tech company GreenSync to help it deploy its Decentralised Energy Exchange (deX) software platform.
The open access software platform allows behind-the-meter energy assets to be registered and visible to grid operators.
The deX system allows residential and commercial-based energy assets and appliances such as solar, batteries, smart air conditioners and hot water systems to bid into the market to be used for grid services such as frequency control and provide energy for the wholesale market.
DHG Hydro signs PPA with VPP operator Limejump
UK virtual power plant firm Limejump has signed a power purchase agreement with DHG Hydro/Canaird River Company to manage generation from DHG’s 1.2MW Langwell Hydro Power Plant in Scotland.
The deal will provide Langwell with wholesale energy market trading access, valued at £300,000 ($390,000) per year.
It also allows Limejump to enter Langwell into system operator National Grid’s Balancing Market as part of its VPP aggregated balancing unit.
It will be the first hydro power plant Limejump has utilised in its aggregated balancing unit.
Ford partners with solid state EV battery maker
Solid Power is teaming up with Ford Motor Company to develop all solid-state batteries for next-generation electric vehicles, the Colorado firm announced on April 11.
This partnership will leverage Solid Power’s first fully automated production facility, which should be fully operational this Q2.
Ford participated in Solid Power’s $20 million Series A investment round, which closed last September and included investors Volta Energy Technologies, Hyundai CRADLE, Samsung Venture Investment, Sanoh Industrial, Solvay Ventures, and A123 Systems.
In December 2017, Solid Power announced a partnership with the BMW Group to jointly develop its solid-state batteries for EV applications.
Exide sells distribution business, appoints EVP and chief legal officer
Lead battery manufacturing and recycling giant Exide Technologies has sold its North American distribution business to Battery Systems, Inc, the firm announced on April 2.
BSI, which is based in Pennsylvania and has been in business since 1975, will be the only distributor to serve the aftermarket for the US, Canada and the Caribbean.
“Our customers will now have access to BSI’s 120 locations and will have access to a robust supply of Exide batteries with improved service levels,” the company said.
On April 1, Exide announced it had appointed John Gasparovic as executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary.