Puerto Rico to host 460 MWh of nickel-hydrogen batteries


From pv magazine USA

EnerVenue, a nickel-hydrogen battery startup that launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, announced it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with Sonnell Power Solutions for Sonnell to procure and deploy 40 MWh of EnerVenue’s EnerStation battery systems in 2023, and 420 MWh in 2024 and 2025 across Puerto Rico.

According to EnerVenue, the batteries will be used to support Puerto Rico’s industrial sector, as many of the Island’s businesses are actively seeking ways to transition their energy supply into a renewable mix. This trend has emerged since Hurricane Maria in 2017 and the persistent power grid deficiencies left in the storm’s aftermath.

“The industrial sector in Puerto Rico faces a crucial and time-sensitive need for more sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy,” said José Rodríguez Varela, president of Sonnell Power Solutions. “EnerVenue fits into our mission to provide the off-grid alternative energy path forward that industrial businesses are so eager to adopt – one that is safe and built to last.”

EnerVenue’s batteries were selected by Sonnell due to their chemistry’s lack of thermal runway or fire risk. The systems also deliver differentiated tolerance to extreme temperatures and environmental conditions, making them optimal for industrial usage.

“We anticipate that EnerVenue will become a cornerstone technology for us, where we are able to fulfill the market’s energy transformation needs now and going forward,” continued Varela.

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EnerVenue is betting on the success of metal hydrogen batteries, specifically nickel-hydrogen batteries. This chemistry has proven to be an incredibly powerful energy storage technology for the aerospace industry for quite some time, but was always held back from greater commercial success due to its high price. According to Dr. Yi Cui, chief technology advisor with EnerVenue, the company has been able to achieve commercialization via “a breakthrough competitive price using new low-cost materials.”

Unlike lithium-ion, EnerVenue’s metal-hydrogen batteries are claimed to be able to operate in conditions of extreme heat and extreme cold.

EnerVenue claims that the company’s batteries have a more than 30-year lifespan, can go through more than 30,000 cycles without experiencing degradation and offer exceptional overcharge, over-discharge, and deep-cycle capabilities. The company also claims cost per kWh is as low as a penny, as well as capital expenditure costs that beat lithium-ion.

In May, EnerVenue and Pine Gate Renewables signed a multi-year agreement under which Pine Gate will procure and deploy 2400 MWh of EnerVenue’s battery energy storage systems in the United States to support their growing energy storage project pipeline. EnerVenue’s batteries will be supplied to Pine Gate to provide a choice in storage technology for Pine Gate’s development partners and customers, giving said customers the freedom to choose a technology that meets long-term reliability, energy and capacity needs.


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