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19 Ottobre 2020

Australia

ENERGY RENAISSANCE NAMES HUNTER REGION FOR AUSTRALIA’S FIRST BATTERY “GIGAFACTOR

The New South Wales Hunter region has been named as the preferred location for what is likely to be Australia’s first gigawatt-scale lithium-ion battery manufacturing operation, right in the middle of the state’s coal and gas heartland. Energy Renaissance said on Tuesday that it would start building the $28 million, solar powered Renaissance One battery plant within weeks in the semi-industrial suburb of Tomago, where it expects to begin producing Australian-made batteries by mid-2021, and which is also the site of the country’s aluminium smelters. The company’s director, Mark Chilcote, said that the 4,000 square metre purpose-built facility would be built by local property developer ATB Morton and have an initial battery production capacity of 66MWh per annum, with plans to scale to 5.3GWh a year within 10 years. Chilcote said that the company had landed on Tomago as the site for the factory due to its easy access to the Port of Newcastle, for the company’s future export plans, and its proximity to highly-skilled talent from CSIRO’s Energy Centre and graduates from the University of Newcastle. The region also has a skilled energy industry workforce that will be looking to transition from the declining coal power sector and could be fairly easily “re-skilled,” Chilcote says, and transitioned to battery production. The grant is also being used to design an automated production line using robotics and automated quality control systems to increase efficiencies across Energy Renaissance’s planned manufacturing facility. Energy Renaissance says the “hot climate” batteries it will be manufacturing at the Tomago plant will primarily be for stationary storage, with an initial target market of industrial grid connected batteries, including through existing contracts with the Department of Defence. “We will be selling batteries into community storage and into commercial applications,” Chilcote told RenewEconomy in an interview; “hospitals, schools, shopping centres, what have you. “And eventually special purpose vehicles, forklifts, mine vehicles, airport moving vehicles – all of those are applicable to our batteries,” he said. Chilcote says the Renaissance One batteries will have two attributes relatively unique to li-ion, in that they don’t suffer from thermal runaway and they are optimised for higher temperatures, to suit deployment in the warmer parts of Australia as well as in Asia. “Initially we’ll be 100% domestic,” he told RE. “But when we’re at peak production, we expect around 60% [of the batteries we manufacture] to go to Asia.” “Initially, we will have to import from Asia and the US 100% of the components to manufacture the batteries, which is criminal when you think that we mine all of the products and have to buy back value added matter,” Chilcote said. “Within three years we want to use 100% of Australian material, that we source from Perth or South Australia and the Northern Territory, rather than Asia or America. “We are working on this in partnership with CSIRO – the desktop part of our roadmap is finished, now we just have to liaise with the organisations to do it.” Chilcote is also determined to power the entire operation with renewable energy. “The facility is 4000 square metres and we’ll have that rooftop full of solar,” he said. “Our batteries will also be used to power the facility. “There will be some top-up power required, so we’ll ensure that we buy that from a green source. In time we’ll have a PPA with a green energy provider. (ICE SYDNEY)


Fonte notizia: RenewEconomy