Redflow spreads its tentacles

Australian energy storage technology company Redflow Limited has signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese zinc-bromine flow battery company ZbestPower to supply a large scale (100 kwh) Redflow battery energy storage solution for a demonstration project for a key smart grid project. The smart grid consists of a 66 KW solar PV parking carport, 18 EV fast charging points, 1 MWh energy storage system and smart energy management system.

Commenting on the Company’s expansion into China, Redflow chief executive Tim Harris said the company strengthened its intellectual property protection for the China market before reviewing several partnership opportunities and signing the agreement with ZbestPower.

ZbestPower and Redflow will jointly benefit from this collaboration, with the Haidong Transportation Group’s Smart Grid Project a key springboard to develop further projects in China.

“Energy storage in China is a large strategic market opportunity for Redflow. The China Energy Storage Alliance has forecast China’s total electrochemical storage capacity will reach nearly 20GW by 2023,” Harris said.

China is transitioning to greater use of renewable energy, and the China National Development and Reform Commission has called for greater investment in flow batteries that is leading to a surge in projects focused on flow battery solutions, he explained.

The Redflow deployment will be part of the Haidong Transportation Group’s Smart Grid Project in Qinghai Province, which is recognised as a key market in China’s shift to a low carbon renewable energy future and sponsored by the China National Energy Bureau.

The energy storage system will allow the Haidong Transportation Group to charge its electric vehicles with renewable energy and energy at the lowest price from the grid, and analyse various energy storage technologies.

ZbestPower is managing the entire project.

Under the Collaboration Agreement, Redflow and ZbestPower have agreed to develop a large scale battery storage solution to meet critical project milestones set by Haidong Transportation Group, demonstrate the technical and economic viability of the Redflow system over the duration of the demonstration and collaborate on leveraging the Redflow system for commercial opportunities in China.

The Redflow energy storage solution, containing 10 of its ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries, will be provided for an initial six month deployment, which is expected to kick off in early June 2019. The deployment period may be extended by agreement at the end of the initial period.

Redflow will assist with site preparation, testing, installation, commissioning, operation and ongoing monitoring and reporting, decommissioning and return of the Redflow system. Redflow's assistance will include technical support provided by Chinese-speaking Redflow energy storage technicians.

During the deployment period, the agreement entitles ZbestPower to use the Redflow system for no charge. Redflow will remain the owner of the system, which will be returned to Redflow at the conclusion of the demonstration project. Redflow will also retain all intellectual property in the Redflow system, including improvements.

ZbestPower chief executive Luke Lu said the collaboration with Redflow would deepen his company’s understanding of the potential for ZBM2 batteries in China.