Friedland-backed Firm to Build China’s Biggest Vanadium Flow Battery

China is looking to move away from coal and toward green energy.

Date: Nov 1, 2017Mining magnate Robert Friedland wears many hats, but recently he’s been receiving increasing attention for his interest in vanadium.

In an interview earlier this year, he spoke positively about the metal, commenting, “[w]e think there’s a revolution coming in vanadium redox flow batteries. You’ll have to get into the mining business and produce ultra-pure vanadium electrolyte for those batteries on a massive scale.”

His involvement in the vanadium sector is through Pu Neng, a private clean technology company. Friedland is a chairman at Beijing-based Pu Neng, and on Wednesday (November 1), it was awarded a contract to build “the largest vanadium flow battery in China.”

Pu Neng will build a 3-megawatt (MW), 12-megawatt-hour (MWh) vanadium flow battery as part of Phase 1 of the Hubei Zaoyang 10-MW, 40-MWh Storage Integration Demonstration Project. The battery will be installed in Zaoyang, which is located in China’s Hubei province. After Phase 1 is completed, there are plans for a larger 100-MW, 500-MWh energy storage project.

“China has the largest and highest-grade vanadium resources in the world and is poised to use this miracle metal to fundamentally transform its electricity grid. With massive amounts of renewable energy and storage coming online, China will create the most modern, clean and efficient grid in the world,” said Friedland in a press release from Pu Neng.

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