Canadian start-up wants to build gigafactory for vanadium flow batteries in China


Vanadium redox battery provider VRB Energy, which is majority-owned by Canada-based metals exploration company High Power Exploration Inc. (HPX), has unveiled a plan to build a gigafactory for the production of vanadium redox flow batteries in China.

The company said it has signed a framework agreement for the 1 GW project with the government of Xiangyang–a prefecture-level city in northwestern Hubei province; and Chinese investment firm Xiangyang High-tech State-owned Capital Investment and Operation Group.

The agreement includes the setting up of an R&D facility and the development and construction of a 100 MW solar plant linked to a 100 MW/500 MWh vanadium flow battery in Xiangyang. “VRB Energy’s 100 MW project in Hubei is among a growing number of 100 MW flow battery projects being prioritized in China as part of its national energy storage policy and accelerated infrastructure investment in support of post-Covid economic growth,” the manufacturer said.

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The construction of the factory is expected to be started by May. “This project is a massive catalyst for VRB Energy’s global growth and further demonstrates that we are developing the absolute best technologies to support the worldwide green energy revolution,” said the company's CEO, Robert Friedland.

VRB Energy claims its vanadium redox flow storage systems rely on low-cost ion-exchange membrane and bipole material, and long-life electrolyte formulation. The standard battery power module is rated at 250 kW for megawatt-class systems. The modules, according to the company, are combined with electrolyte storage tanks and power conversion systems to form systems from 250 kW/1 MWh up. VRB Energy also claims the device can go through an almost unlimited number of charge and discharge cycles for over 25 years.

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