Australian Vanadium to supply vanadium flow battery to WA’s regional energy provider Horizon Power

Western Australia’s regional energy provider Horizon Power has entered into a contract with Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) subsidiary VSUN Energy to buy its first vanadium flow battery (VFB) for a long duration storage pilot in regional Western Australia.

Australian Vanadium reports through its 100% owned subsidiary VSUN Energy, the company will provide a 220kWh battery, which can deliver up to 78kW of power. It will be sourced from global VFB manufacturer Invinity Energy Systems (AIM:IES).

The purchase, commission, and installation of a VFB in Kununurra could assist Horizon Power to accelerate the decarbonisation of its energy network, which covers 2.3 million square kilometres. The VFB will be used for Horizon Power’s long duration energy storage pilot which aims to increase understanding of how this technology can provide long periods of 100% renewable energy supply in regional and remote energy systems across Western Australia.

Australian Vanadium reports the contract between Horizon Power and VSUN Energy allows for termination if completion is not achieved by 28 March 2024, subject to extension of time by mutual agreement between the parties.

Site planning and development work will now begin, with the Invinity Energy Systems’ VFB to be delivered and installed early next year.

Commenting on the agreement, AVL Chief Executive Officer Graham Arvidson says: “This is the first contracted VFB project for an Australian energy utility. VSUN Energy has been actively pursuing opportunities for VFB deployments and is seeing an increased interest from all energy sectors for this effective energy  storage technology which uses vanadium at its core. Horizon Power has chosen to be one of the early movers in Australia in support of a technology game changer for the many microgrids in the country.

 “This is the first contracted VFB project for an Australian energy utility”

Horizon Power’s support of the VFB technology will also assist AVL and VSUN Energy’s  planned vertical integration ‘pit to battery’ strategy. Future VFB projects in Australia will not only be  deployed locally, but have significant local content, including AVL’s vanadium electrolyte from its  plant which is currently under construction in Wangara, Western Australia.”

Horizon Power’s CEO Stephanie Unwin says that the pilot would support the organisation’s focus on solving the important technical problem of long duration storage and performance in harsh conditions, providing a pathway to reaching its decarbonisation goals.

Unwin notes that long duration energy storage provides backup power during times of peak demand or when the power supply is interrupted, storing high volumes of excess energy when demand is low and the ability to shift energy storage into the night.

“It can also minimise the need for costly fossil fuel  generation and grid infrastructure upgrades.”

The VFB is specifically designed to deliver large amounts of energy over a long period of time and is temperature resilient – which is critical for our unique regional and remote networks.

Invinity Energy Systems Chief Commercial Officer Matt Harper adds: “Due to their  durability, safety and reliability, vanadium flow batteries have a vital role to play in reducing the use  of fossil fuels in power generation, particularly in remote communities.”

VSUN Energy was established in 2016 and is Australian Vanadium’s vertical integration strategy, which incorporates processing vanadium to high purity, manufacturing vanadium electrolyte, and developing projects based on renewable energy generation and VFB energy storage.

Australian Vanadium is a resource company seeking to offer investors a unique exposure to  all aspects of the vanadium value chain – from resource through to steel and energy storage  opportunities. The company is advancing the development of its Australian Vanadium Project at  Gabanintha. The project is one of the most advanced vanadium projects being developed globally, with 239Mt at 0.73% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), containing a ‘high-grade’ zone  of 95.6Mt at 1.07% V2O5 and an ore reserve of 30.9Mt at 1.09% V2O5 comprised of a proved reserve of 5Mt at 1.11% V2O5 and a probable reserve of 20.4Mt at 1.07% V2O5.

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Images: Australian Vanadium Ltd
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Written By Adam Orlando Managing Editor Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Adam has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.