First phase of China’s biggest flow battery put into operation by VRB Energy

Date: Jan 15, 2019

VRB Energy, a maker of flow batteries headquartered in Canada and owned by a metal resources and mining company, said the first phase of a 40MWh flow battery project in China has now been commissioned.

VRB Energy (VRB), 82% owned by High Power Exploration, a base metals-focused exploration company led by noted mining financier Robert Friedland, provided with a progress update from Hubei Province at the end of last week.

The company said that it has now successfully commissioned a 3MW / 12MWh vanadium redox flow battery energy storage project which represents Phase 1 of the Hubei Zaoyang Utility-scale Solar and Storage Integration Demonstration Project, set to be 10MW / 40MWh when completed. It represents the latest step since the previous update on the project, when the first 250kW / 1MWh battery module was commissioned a few months ago.

“This project represents a key step in applying China’s rich vanadium resources to renewable energy development that will transform the energy industry and help alleviate environmental problems,” Robert Friedland said in his capacity as VRB Energy’s chairman.

Chinese national government and local government officials conducted an official inspection of the 12MWh system, thought to be the largest system using this technology in China in operation to date.

Investment and integration

The main investor in the project is Hubei Pingfan Ruifeng New Energy Technology Ltd. Company chairman Xie Guoguang pointed out in a statement that Hubei Province has abundant vanadium resources.

“This project combines locally sourced vanadium with VRB Energy’s advanced energy storage technology to serve as a brand new partnership model for fostering local economic development, energy transformation, comprehensive utilization of resources and sustainable development,” Guoguang said.   

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