Invinity Energy Systems Emerges as a Leader in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries
UK-based redT energy and US-based Avalon Battery Corporation have announced that they will merge, subject to shareholder approval, to become a worldwide leader in vanadium flow batteries – a key competitor to existing lithium-ion technology in the rapidly growing global energy storage market.
The merger unites the companies under a new name, Invinity Energy Systems, and combines the existing strengths of both companies with the scale and market presence to compete with the major players in a global energy storage market, forecast for £55 billion of new investment by 2024.
Vanadium flow batteries are a form of heavy-duty, stationary energy storage, used primarily in high-utilization applications such as being coupled with industrial scale solar generation for distributed, low-carbon energy projects. This sort of application requires daily, heavy use and is well suited to flow battery technology, which is expected to become a £3.5 billion market by 2028.
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“The merged company will be a world leader in flow batteries. This gives us the platform to compete head-to-head against incumbent lithium-ion giants, and in so doing prove that our robust, safe, non-degrading energy storage solutions are the best option for delivering the world’s ambitious decarbonization target,” stated Larry Zulch, CEO.
Summary of the merger
- Leading UK & US flow battery firms – redT and Avalon – combine to create a £58 million global company – Invinity Energy Systems.
- Combined company will be active across all key international energy storage markets: Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia and Africa.
- Vanadium flow batteries are a form of non-degrading energy storage, already deployed worldwide alongside renewables and a key alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries.
- Together, vanadium flow batteries and renewable generation can deliver low cost clean energy on demand, even when solar and wind power generation is idle.
- Unlike conventional battery technologies, vanadium flow batteries do not degrade with continued charge and discharge cycling, allowing them to deliver durable, low-cost performance over decades of service.
Invinity’s flow batteries store energy in a non-flammable, liquid electrolyte, held in tanks within a self-contained module. Larger, safer and more robust than lithium-ion systems, flow batteries do not degrade with use like conventional batteries and have a 20- to 25-year lifetime, significantly longer than comparable lithium-ion solutions. This key characteristic means flow batteries are well suited to heavy duty, daily use alongside intermittent renewables such as solar, storing excess energy at times of peak generation then discharging it when required.
Batteries are increasingly being used in this manner to create low-cost, low-carbon, accessible energy ‘on-demand’ from renewable sources, replacing conventional fossil-fuel based generation and enabling the global transition to 100% renewables.
“Invinity combines the best of British and North American flow battery expertise. By uniting the strengths of the two businesses under one brand, we can realize the huge potential of this game-changing energy storage technology and unlock significant commercial opportunities worldwide,” added Zulch.
Creating a global leader
The merger will combine the engineering advancements of Avalon’s technology with redT’s sophisticated commercial business models to unlock new markets and commercial opportunities across the world. Invinity will be headquartered in the UK and Canada, with regional presence in the USA, South Africa and China.
On launch, Invinity will be active primarily across the UK, mainland Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia and sub-Saharan Africa. It will focus on key markets, with an emphasis on unlocking the maximum value from solar generation through “solar plus flow battery” solutions. This proposition maximizes carbon reduction potential while creating attractive, investable project returns through significant bill savings and other revenue opportunities which can be stacked on top.
Alongside an existing portfolio of more than 40 flow battery energy storage projects worldwide, the merged company has a development pipeline that includes supplying vanadium flow batteries for the £41 million Energy Superhub Oxford, in the UK.
Two industry leaders with historic pedigree
Avalon and redT have led the way with the development and commercialization of vanadium redox flow technology.
redT has developed three generations of these flow batteries since 2016, generating sales across multiple applications in the UK, mainland Europe, Australia, Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia.
Last year the company announced a partnership with Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, to provide a fully financed ‘solar plus storage’ solution to UK commercial and industrial customers, the first time that a product of this type had been financed under a Power Purchase Agreement model for the UK market.
In Summer 2019, redT announced that its flow batteries became the first of their kind to achieve pre-qualification status from National Grid to provide Dynamic Firm Frequency Response (dFFR) services to the UK electricity transmission grid.
Avalon was founded in 2013 by flow battery industry veterans whose experience dates back to 2005 and were part of the team that delivered North America’s first vanadium redox flow battery project.
Avalon developed its first-generation vanadium redox flow batteries in 2016 and to date has deployed more than 160 of its flow battery modules across three generations of technology to projects in North America, East Asia, Australia and Europe.