Australia’s first lithium-ion battery gigafactory is set to begin operations soon, with battery maker Energy Renaissance announcing the successful completion of a $1.47 million pilot program designed to develop and test its manufacturing processes, systems and the design of its factory.
Energy Renaissance is preparing to move its lithium-ion battery manufacturing operations to a new $28 million purpose-built facility in the New South Wales Hunter region as it seeks to ramp up production of its battery series superStorage at 5.3 GWh per year to meet domestic and international demand.
Energy Renaissance founder and development director Brian Craighead said the new 4,500 square meter Renaissance One factory in Tomago, just north of Newcastle in the Hunter Valley, will have an initial battery production capacity of up to 300 MWh per year, with plans to scale operations up to 5.3 GWh.
“Just a few years ago we were told it was not possible to manufacture in Australia. Today, in the shadow of our soon-to-be-completed Renaissance One facility, I can tell you that it is entirely possible to manufacture in Australia,” he said.
The move to the new facility follows a successful pilot program supported by the federal government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Center (AMGC). The pilot program, conducted at Energy Renaissance’s existing facilities in Tomago, allowed the company to develop, test and document its technology, systems and processes and begin operations to supply customers prior to large-scale manufacturing. ladder.
Energy Renaissance currently produces up to 4 MWh of lithium-ion batteries per month for use in industrial and commercial applications, but this will increase significantly when operations are transferred.
The company said the Australian-made batteries, designed to cope with high temperature and humidity environments, will be used in stationary (grid and microgrid, renewable energy, community storage, mining electrification) and transport ( buses, light commercial and industrial vehicles). It seeks to supply both local and export markets.
Energy Renaissance aims to leverage local suppliers and the supply chain to manufacture batteries as close to 100% Australian content as possible. The company, which continues to import battery cells, said the supply partnerships mean that 92%, or 32 of the 35 components that make up the company’s superStorage battery range, are produced or sourced from Australian companies.
“With the support of organizations such as the AMGC and our partners, we have been able to develop a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery for domestic and export use and soon we hope to expand the impact of this program to add value to Australia’s abundance of raw materials by moving into cell manufacturing,” said Craighead.
AMGC chief executive Jens Goennemann said Energy Renaissance is “positive proof” that Australia can be a world leader in the renewable energy sector.
“Energy Renaissance’s approach exemplifies how we should seek to move away from our dependence on raw materials and tap into our abundant human, raw material and manufacturing resources and turn them into complex goods for local markets and export,” he said.
“Energy Renaissance didn’t stop when they developed a battery for hot and humid climates, they set out to commercialize the technology…they are a shining light for others to follow.”
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