Old EV Batteries Get a Second Life Storing Solar Energy

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“We’re at a point where we really can scale this.”

This story was initially printed by Grist and is reproduced right here as a part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On a 20-acre parcel exterior the tiny Southern California city of New Cuyama, a 1.5-megawatt photo voltaic farm makes use of the solar’s rays to slowly cost almost 600 batteries in close by cupboards. At night time, when vitality demand rises, that electrical energy is distributed to the grid to energy properties with clear vitality. 

To make renewable vitality from intermittent sources like photo voltaic and wind accessible when it’s most wanted, it’s turning into extra widespread to make use of batteries to retailer the ability because it’s generated and transmit it later. But one factor concerning the Cuyama facility, which started operations this week, is much less widespread: The batteries sending vitality to the grid as soon as powered electric vehicles.

The SEPV Cuyama facility, situated about two hours northeast of Santa Barbara, is the second hybrid storage facility opened by B2U Storage Solutions. Its first facility, simply exterior Los Angeles, makes use of 1,300 retired batteries from Honda Clarity and Nissan Leaf EVs to retailer 28 megawatt-hours of energy, sufficient to energy about 9,500 properties.

The amenities are supposed to show the feasibility of giving EV batteries a second life as stationary storage earlier than they’re recycled. Doing so might enhance the sustainability of the expertise’s provide chain and cut back the necessity to mine important minerals, whereas offering a cheaper means of constructing out grid-scale storage. 

“This is what’s needed at massive scale,” stated Freeman Hall, CEO of the Los Angeles-based large-scale storage system firm.

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