Bushveld Minerals Limited’s (LON:BMN) vanadium venture with Invinity is advancing, via the creation of a new vehicle, Vanadium Electrolyte Rental Limited (VERL), which has already entered into its first deal.
VERL has inked a contract with EDF Energy subsidiary Pivot Power which sees the joint venture company provide electrolyte for Pivot's five megawatt-hour flow battery, at the ‘Energy Superhub’ in Oxford.
Fortune Mojapelo, Bushveld chief executive highlighted the suitability for vanadium for such projects.
"Since setting up Bushveld Energy in 2016 we have said that the metal's unique characteristics will give it certain advantages in the energy storage sector,” he said in a statement.
“In this case it is the lack of degradation, even after years of charging and discharging cycles, that allows for us to loan the metal into a battery, thereby removing a significant portion of the upfront cost of the battery and ensuring the reusability of its electrolyte.”
He also noted: “This partnership puts the rental model into a specific business unit, formalising a commercial partnership and ringfencing the vanadium rental sub-entity. We anticipate adding other rental agreements and VRFB companies to the partnership in growing the electrolyte rental model, ensuring that the VRFB is affordable and the most sustainable battery technology."
Invinity chief executive Larry Zulch, meanwhile, added: "Both Invinity and Bushveld are intent on removing any obstacle to vanadium flow batteries demonstrating their superiority for heavy cycling and long duration applications.
"VERL is an excellent means of giving our customers the option to reduce the capex of their energy storage system. The ability to rent electrolyte and be confident of its residual value shows why vanadium flow batteries have an environmental life-cycle assessment consistent with their purpose of making renewable energy a reliable resource."