Battery Metals

Vanadium Investing

Bushveld Energy, a subsidiary of Bushveld Minerals, has commissioned its first vanadium redox flow battery system in South Africa.

Subsidiary of Bushveld Minerals (LSE:BMN) Bushveld Energy has commissioned its first vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) system in South Africa.

The energy storage and delivery project was a joint effort by Bushveld Energy and national power supplier Eskom. The Bushveld Complex is home to the second-largest vanadium reserve in the world.

Establishing reliable, efficient and green energy grids and systems is crucial in the development of rural and remote areas of South Africa and beyond.

“Completion of our first energy storage project in Africa, with Eskom, has allowed Bushveld Energy to expand its project development capabilities during the final quarter of 2018,” Mikhail Nikomarov, CEO of Bushveld Energy, said in the announcement.

“We can approach the development of a more complex project that includes a hybrid of solar generation and VRFB storage technologies with even higher confidence.”

The VRFB project was initially commissioned in 2017 with US-based UniEnergy Technologies sourced to manufacture the utility-scale storage system.

In January and February of this year, site acceptance testing was performed on the VRFB. During this test work, the manufacturer of the VRFB recommended a set of upgrades that are currently in progress.

The initial unit deployed by Bushveld and Eskom is expected to have a peak output of 450 kilowatt hours.

According to the International Renewable Energy Association, “VRFBs already offer some of the lowest system costs among battery technologies and are expected to decrease in cost by 66 percent through to 2030, which is faster than any other technology in energy storage.”

In addition to the VRFB system, Bushveld Energy is currently developing a mini-grid project at the Vametco mining and processing facility. The grid is designed to feed solar energy through the VRFB and into the mining complex’s infrastructure.

“The mini-grid project will demonstrate both the superior technical merits of long duration VRFB systems when paired with renewable energy, while providing a commercial return to its investors,” added Nikomarov.

“It will also use locally mined and beneficiated vanadium, showing how VRFB energy solutions can create more local value to South Africa than any other storage technology.”

Bushveld shares were down 6.41 percent on Thursday (March 28), trading at GBX36.50.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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