US steps up residential and industrial battery energy

As residential energy storage system Ohm Core launches, American Battery Factory plans network of Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery gigafactories

From residential energy storage systems to major Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery (LFP) cell gigafactories, the United States is stepping up its efforts to provide reliable grid-connected power and 21st century renewable energy infrastructure.

Urban Electric Power and Alchemy Industrial have teamed up to launch Ohm Core, a residential energy storage system based on rechargeable alkaline batteries that charge seamlessly from the grid. 

Alchemy will serve as the strategic development and manufacturing partner while Urban Electric Power launches and scales its innovative energy storage solution, part of a series of easy-to-assemble modular products for homes, businesses, and grid-scale installations.

Today, lithium-ion batteries are used for everything from laptops and smartphones, to home energy storage. But lithium also has issues, from its expense, short supply, and geopolitical complications, to its tendency to fuel fires that are hard to extinguish, a problem known as thermal runaway.

Since 2012, Urban Electric Power has fine-tuned an ingenious but simple solution, based on the same AA battery technology safely used for decades in everyday devices such as our smoke detectors and remotes.

​​“Urban Electric Power’s Ohm Core batteries boast what other batteries cannot,” said Ann Marie Augustus, VP of Operations. “We offer non-toxic energy storage that is rated for indoor use with no thermal runaway fire risk, at a cost and environmental footprint less than standard lead, lithium-ion batteries, or diesel generators.”

Alkaline batteries also solve supply chain complications by using recyclable materials that can be extracted safely and are abundantly found throughout the earth’s surface.

The technology has already been tested and proven for larger uses in data centers and infrastructure projects for the energy grid. Now, Ohm Core offers this safe and affordable backup power solution for homes. The batteries are assembled in Pearl River, New York. 

Alchemy Industrial is a Houston-based contract manufacturing company that leverages advanced manufacturing technologies to produce innovative products. The company will help bring Urban Electric Power’s new battery technology to more homes on a quicker timeline.  

“The Alchemy team is honored to be working with the Urban Electric Power team to help launch and scale the manufacturing of the Ohm energy storage system,” said Mush Khan, CEO of Alchemy Industrial.

​​​​​​​“This relationship also represents Alchemy’s commitment to bringing advanced manufacturing to Houston, and to help the city become a leader in energy storage system manufacturing and energy transition.”

The Ohm Core system is easy to install and use and recharges from the grid, eliminating the need for backup generators and diesel fuel. The batteries can provide power for 1-3 days at a time, and last upwards of 10 years. Visit the website today and sign up to be one of the first Ohm owners. Urban Electric’s solution is accessible to most homeowners. 

“As we phase out fossil fuels and add distributed renewables, demand will only grow for replacing old battery technology with cost-effective energy storage that is safer, longer-lasting, and more environmentally friendly,” said Augustus.

American Battery Factory to develop first network of Lithium-Iron phosphate battery gigafactories across United States

American Battery Factory Inc. is developing what it claims is the first network of safe Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery (LFP) cell gigafactories in the United States. Lithium batteries and their raw materials are among the highest in-demand commodities in the energy market and according to the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, the demand will increase 10 times over the next decade. 

“We talk a lot about generating renewable energy as a society, but not about how to store it,” said Zhenfang “Jim” Ge, ABF Chairman of the Board. “Without batteries, moving to an entirely green energy economy is impossible. Each factory we build will create an estimated 300 to 1,000 quality jobs. As our network grows, we will help mitigate decades of U.S. manufacturing job losses resulting from the closure of nearly 66,000 U.S. manufacturing sites while eventually making it possible to move the country and the entire world to 100% renewable power.”

ABF’s goal of developing a domestic battery manufacturing ecosystem will be the key to making energy independence and renewable energy a reality for the United States while also creating domestic manufacturing jobs.

Today, almost 80% of all LFP battery manufacturing takes place in China. And when combined with the worldwide pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions, the time has come for the United States to develop its own LFP battery supply network. US-based LFP battery manufacturing will also play a crucial role in meeting federal and state government climate change initiatives and “Made-in-USA” national security requirements.

Battery Energy Storage Systems are in demand among grid/utilities, residential, SMEs and industrial/commercial applications as well as a range of electric vehicles, and military and defence applications.

“Our vision is to make it possible for all individuals, neighbourhoods, companies, utilities, states and sovereign entities to store and deploy the energy source of their choice through battery storage,” said Paul Charles, President and CEO at ABF.

“By manufacturing the safest and most eco-friendly batteries for a cleaner world, American Battery Factory is committed to making energy more independent and flexible based on the vast inventory of power being generated today.

"We created ABF to first accelerate the growth of the US clean energy economy and empower consumers, businesses and government organisations to save money and move toward energy independence. Eventually, we plan to supply the world through our network of factories with the best and safest battery chemistry and technology available.”

Duke Energy has announced the completion of three battery projects in Gilchrist, Gulf and Highlands counties. They comprise:

  • A near 18MW lithium battery site, at the company's 45MW Lake Placid Solar Power Plant in Highlands County. The addition of battery storage to the utility-scale solar plant is the first of its kind for Duke Energy Florida, allowing solar energy to be dispatchable by the company's grid operators, which improves overall plant efficiency.
  • The 11MW Trenton lithium battery facility, located 30 miles west of Gainesville in Gilchrist County. This newer technology will improve power reliability.
  • And the 5.5MW Cape San Blas lithium battery facility, which is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Panama City in Gulf County. The project provides additional power capacity to meet customers' increasing demand for energy. This project is an economical alternative to replacing distribution equipment necessary to accommodate local growth.

The recently completed facilities will help modernise grid operations, improve overall reliability and support critical services during power outages. In 2022, Duke Energy will have six battery sites in operation in Florida providing 50MW of energy storage.

"Duke Energy Florida is committed to a clean energy future for our customers and communities," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "With each new battery site, Duke Energy takes another important step in expanding new storage technologies in Florida while maximizing benefits to our customers and the grid."

Compared with NMC cells, LFP-based cells have slightly lower raw-material cost per kWh, and LFP cell production technology is more established, driving down the price premium on raw materials to 35%, according to McKinsey.

"Based on our insights on cell chemistry, we expect NMC532 cells to lose market share to NMC811 and LFP. This shift has already started in China, where some OEMs started using LFP for entry models and NMC811 for their more expensive, longer-range models," it concludes.

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