Batteries recovered from Renault electric vehicles

The Renault Zoe.

The Renault Zoe. Picture: MATTHEW USHER - Credit: Matthew Usher

Argonaut Power Ingenious’ flexible energy platform, has has partnered with Northumbrian Water to pilot the use of large scale battery storage at a number of the utility’s sites across the North East, Essex and Suffolk.

The announcement puts Argonaut at the forefront of storage for commercial and industrial customers.

Behind the Meter (‘BtM’) storage can help manage energy loads and reduce electricity spend; batteries can be charged at low cost during the night to then power the company’s sites during high-cost evening peak times.

Batteries can also help the National Grid to balance supply and demand as well as grid frequency across the UK.

The batteries themselves are ‘second life’ li-ion units recovered from Renault electric vehicles, with energy storage engineers Connected Energy providing the technology. This represents an example of three companies working in close partnership in the circular economy, helping to tackle waste and increase sustainability of storage assets. Strategic advisor, Ikigai Capital, was fundamental in creating a bankable structure for the project.

The three companies will work together to develop the projects, with Argonaut fully funding the investment costs. Argonaut will also manage the operation of the systems and benefit by taking a share of the total income achieved.

An installation and revenue sharing contract is expected to be signed by the end of the year with the batteries in full operation by the autumn of 2019.

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Argonaut managing director and Ingenious director Roberto Castiglioni said: “We are excited to enter into an exclusive partnership with NWL to install and manage BtM storage on some of their critical sites. NWL has been very collaborative and supportive in structuring the projects. We believe we have created something unique and innovative through a combination of technical and financial engineering. As far as we know, we’re the only fully-funded solution offering 30-year storage installations to C&I customers under a revenue sharing agreement, boosting site profitability.”

Anthony Browne, energy development manager at Northumbrian Water said: “Large scale battery storage is going to be a major feature of the electricity industry going forward and this is a great opportunity for us to develop our understanding of these processes. We expect that having batteries on site can also help us obtain more value from any renewable energy we generate on our sites.”