Redflow wins smart grid contract with China’s national energy bureau

By Luke Housego for Financial Review

Energy storage company Redflow has been contracted to supply a battery solution for a smart grid project sponsored by China’s national energy bureau.

The Brisbane-based company will provide battery storage for a solar-powered, smart grid installation that will be used to supply an electric vehicle, fast-charging site, it announced on Friday.

The agreement will see Redflow install 10 of its flow batteries – an alternative battery technology to lithium ion – for a trial period in partnership with the project manager, Chinese battery company ZbestPower.

The announcement on Friday pushed the share price of the $35 million company up 20.5 per cent to close at 4.7¢.

Redflow chief executive Tim Harris said the project would build a significant profile in the world’s largest market for energy storage – with strong opportunities for further business.

“It’s a really important market for us given the level of renewable investment. Our focus is to make this deployment successful and then using that to identify, create and develop other commercial opportunities,” he said.

Redflow’s batteries are an alternative to the more common lithium ion: a liquid electrolyte “flows” through the system, enabling the chemical process that generates electricity.

“When it comes to some of the problems China faces, particularly how can you enable large-scale storage and efficiencies, flow batteries are very well suited to that,” Mr Harris said.

Flow batteries are not prone to overheating, can be recycled and have a longer life, which Mr Harris said made them competitive in China.

“Over the last six to 12 months, we’ve been approached by a number of different parties who have an interest in licensing or selling our battery into China,” Mr Harris said.

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