Connected Energy helps boost EV battery sustainability

A Norfolk company is working with car giant Nissan on large-scale second-life energy storage powered by EV batteries. 

This will enable the sustainable reuse of more EV batteries to support the power grid before they are ultimately recycled.

Led by Nissan, the programme will build UK R&D capability and strengthen technical expertise in zero emission vehicles and batteries.

Connected Energy will lead on the second-life battery element of the project, building on the company’s existing technology to deliver large-scale energy storage sites using EV batteries.

Connected Energy designs and develops energy storage systems using second life EV batteries. Applications for systems include overcoming power capacity issues on the grid, helping buildings with solar arrays to maximise their use of renewable energy and providing energy resilience. Repurposing EV batteries in this way, before they are recycled, significantly reduces their environmental impact.

The project strand will develop world-leading energy storage technology which uses multiple battery types with different states of health and performance characteristics. This will enable the company to demonstrate the ability of large scale second life systems to compete with new lithium-ion systems.

“Our goal is to develop and demonstrate a pioneering economic model for large-scale second life energy storage systems that can be easily scaled up further and replicated,” said Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy.

 “This will place Connected Energy and our network of partners at the leading edge of second life battery use. Repurposing EV batteries in energy storage is a key contributor to vehicle electrification and sustainability while also helping towards the decarbonisation of the electricity grid.”

At present, Connected Energy produces 300-kilowatt systems designed for smaller-scale industrial and commercial applications. This project is key to the company’s strategy to scale-up its technology in response to the wave of second life batteries which will become available in the next few years.

Large-scale battery energy storage systems can be used to support the energy flexibility and demand markets, storing energy when it is in abundance and selling it back to the grid when demand and prices are higher. Giving their batteries a second life enables EV manufacturers and other battery owners to further monetise their batteries for several years before they are recycled.

The multi-megawatt system to be deployed by Connected Energy will become operational in 2025.

The energy storage strand is part of the wider £30.1 million consortium project, which includes £15m of Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) funding and aims to strengthen the UK’s capabilities in EV battery reuse, recycling and grid balancing.

The overall consortium is led by Nissan and partners also include lithium battery recycling experts Altilium, alongside Connected Energy.

“This is a groundbreaking project combining the expertise of the UK’s biggest EV manufacturer, one of the world’s most advanced second life companies, and recycling pioneers Altilium.

“Bringing together these key players has the potential to create a world first in the creation of a model for true battery circularity,” added Matthew.

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