It’s been suggested that to get the U.S. to 80% wind+solar power, we’d need enough energy storage to power the nation for twelve hours – roughly 5.4 TWh worth.
Zinc8 Energy builds a twelve-hour battery, and is aiming for longer duration and an extremely low price. pv magazine spoke with CEO Ron McDonald about the company’s target price of $45 per kWh.
The price of the 100 kW/1 MWh battery the company is building for the New York Power Authority is confidential, but is projected to be $210/kWh. This first unit will be delivered in a shipping container designed for demonstration and easy inspection access of the hardware.
The more important number though is $45/kWh.
If the 100 kW/1 MWh system is installed, the cost is $200,000 at $250/kWh. Expanding the system to run for 18 hours straight requires the addition of a single shipping container with 1 MWh of additional capacity. That new capacity will cost an additional $45,000 — or $45/kWh.
This is possible because the expensive part of the machine — the cathodes, membranes, and other gear — have already been purchased. One only needs to connect the new shipping container and its very cheap zinc solution ($10/kWh for raw materials) via hoses and pumps.
McDonald claims that Zinc8 has solved the “dendrite problem” which leads to clogging of the membranes used in flow batteries. Solving this challenge, along with the broader development of the technology, has cost $84 million over the course of 14 years, according to the company.
These investments have produced a product with a 65% to 70% round trip efficiency.
The company, with its ~22 lab personnel, is now focused on developing its manufacturing processes. The size of the New York installation allows for the purchase of the machines needed to mass produce various components.
The battery’s projected first round of operations and maintenance is at 20,000 operating hours. For a product designed to run eight or twelve hours a day, this is 4.5 to almost 7 years. Though the cost of this O&M wasn’t disclosed, McDonald noted it was included in the cost structure put out to the public.
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Rockstone Disclaimer: Rockstone Research, Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. / MGX Renewables Inc. and Zimtu Capital Corp. caution investors that any forward-looking information provided herein is not a guarantee of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking information as a result of various factors. The reader is referred to the Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. / MGX Renewables Inc.´s public filings for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects which may be accessed through their profiles on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist. Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. / MGX Renewables Inc. pays Zimtu Capital Corp. to provide reports and other investor awareness services.The author, Stephan Bogner, holds a long position in Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. / MGX Renewables Inc. and is being paid by Zimtu Capital Corp. for the preparation and distribution of reports and other services, whereas Zimtu Capital Corp. also holds a long position in Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. / MGX Renewables Inc.