South Australia moves to vanadium redox-flow storage as base technology


A new energy storage system will be built to offer multiple grid services such as voltage compensation, reactive power, frequency regulation services and renewable base load in South Australia.

Renewable energy firm Pangea Energy has signed an agreement with Celltube to build a 50MW / 200MWh energy storage system on grid scale level in Port Augusta.

The $200 million energy storage system will be integrated with a planned 50MW solar project at the same site.

Constructions will start in late 2019 with plans to be operational in 2020.

Pangea Energy will own and operate the site.

Due to instability of the grid network, Australia has committed to expanding its portfolio of grid-scale energy storage systems to complement its growing renewable energy mix.

The region has deployed a number of lithium-ion-based storage systems under pilots and is moving to long duration storage systems as base technology.

Stefan Schauss, CEO of CellCube, said: “The Pangea Storage Project is a wonderful example on how renewable power generation and a safe, reliable and sustainable energy storage technology such as the Vanadium Redox-Flow battery are a perfect symbiosis to provide renewable base load today.

The technology being tested “… is three times more efficient than any Power-2-X or Hydrogen technology which will not be available at this scale in the next 3 years…”

The technology has a lifetime of 25 years with no degradation or augmentation like needed for lithium, according to CellCube.

Luis Chiang Lin, CEO of Pangea added: “Australia has massive Vanadium resources and the exploration of vanadium is pretty simple, cheap and does not have the impact on nature and labor conditions such as cobalt or other rare earths in the lithium industry. As such, choosing Vanadium and working with CellCube as market leader in the vanadium related storage industry is a perfect match for our project.”

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.