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Foray Into Energy Market With Mega Battery Planned By Renault

Foray Into Energy Market With Mega Battery Planned By Renault
In the hope of giving electric car batteries a second life in a project that could eventually compete with utility companies, Renault-Nissan is drawing up plans to build a 100 megawatt power storage plant in Europe, reports Reuters.
While encouraging the development of energy infrastructure that works for electric cars, the Renault-Nissan move underscores its desire to cultivate a second-hand battery market like rival Tesla's energy storage business.
Big enough to supplant the role of a gas- or coal-fired power station in meeting peak electricity demand on the grid or to power 120,000 homes would be the Renault-Nissan alliance plant which has yet to be built.
A storage plant sells electricity back to the grid when needed after charging up in times of excess supply instead of generating power. A key role in smoothing out unpredictable wind and solar power generation can be played by such plants, proponents say.
On the mega battery project, which would be assembled from new or used electric car batteries, Renault-Nissan is working in partnership with energy storage specialist The Mobility House.
"We're working with The Mobility House on several programs including a major energy storage project that is currently still in the study phase," Renault spokeswoman Celine Farissier said, declining to give further details.
creation of a market for used lithium-ion batteries that can no longer power vehicles to drive far enough would be of benefit for makers of electric cars. Mega batteries are one avenue for recycling the power cells and higher second-hand battery values could help bring down the cost of electric cars.
In a first partnership with the German start-up, a back-up power storage system for the Amsterdam Arena, which is home to soccer club Ajax, has already been built by Nissan, 44 percent-owned by French alliance partner Renault.
While declining to identify, citing confidentiality agreements, the Munich-based company was working on a 100 MW plant with partners, said Marcus Fendt, its managing director. The studies were aimed at determining where to build the plant, he said.

Sources say that apart from Netherlands, Germany, which is suitable because of its high energy prices and its shift from nuclear to renewable energy, is among the locations and end markets under consideration for the Renault-Nissan plant.
Before embarking on its own plan to recycle electric car batteries, Renault-Nissan studied an existing power storage project in the United States.
To replace a natural-gas power plant providing electricity for Southern California Edison in the Los Angeles area, California's Public Utilities commission selected a 100 MW battery storage system.
The primary reserve electricity market, which is responsible for ensuring the grid has at least 50 Hertz, can be helped to be stabilized by large batteries. In order to guarantee the provision of electricity during periods of high demand or volatility, carmakers can also earn money competing with conventional power stations.
"We forecast the combined market for electric passenger vehicles, electric buses and battery storage to increase eight-fold to over $200 billion by 2020, a five-year compound annual growth rate of more than 50 percent," Berenberg analysts said.
Vehicle manufacturers looking at ways to recycle batteries, including Tesla, with about 4 million electric cars expected to be on the roads by 2020. Everything, from solar panels to batteries and electric cars, is sold by Tesla.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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