Worth its salt: Altech’s revolutionary 100MWh CERENERGY battery project will use no lithium, copper, cobalt or graphite
Altech Batteries has started the permitting and licensing process for its 100 MWh lithium-free, cobalt-free, graphite-free and copper-free CERENERGY battery project in Germany, which is expected to streamline construction and operation process.
As the world transitions from a fossil fuel to a sustainable energy economy, ramping up of battery storage solutions are required.
The incumbent tech is lithium-ion, but this presents several challenges — like high costs and supply chain issues, safety and environmental concerns, relatively short life spans, and reduced operability in cold climates.
Using sodium-chloride (cheap common table salt) and ceramic solid-state technology, the trademarked CERENERGY batteries of Altech Batteries (ASX: ATC) are considered a viable grid storage alternative.
They are fire and explosion-proof with a life span of more than 15 years.
The batteries are lithium-free, cobalt-free, graphite-free, and copper-free, eliminating exposure to critical metal price rises and supply chain concerns.
They are also estimated to reduce costs by up to 40% compared to regular lithium-ion batteries and boast a GHG footprint at least 50% lower than that of lithium-ion batteries.
And since the CERENERGY batteries can operate at a very wide temperature range (-40 degrees Celsius – +60 degrees Celsius) ATC says the battery pack is ideal for the cold European climates.
Altech Batteries GmbH (ABG) is in joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS to commercialise a 100 MWh battery plant on Altech’s land in Schwarze Pumpe, in the German state of Saxony, specifically focussed on the grid (stationary) energy storage market.
ABG, in collaboration with its engineering subcontractor LEADEC and its architecture and balance of plant subcontractor ARIKON, has applied to the authorities for a permit and licences for the proposed construction and operation the battery plant.
In Germany, the approval process for construction and operation is determined by the environmental risk impacts, with most projects falling under the jurisdiction of the German Federal Immission Control Act (known as BimSchG) for federal approval.
ABG has diligently provided all the necessary documentation, including drawings and explanations, required for approval application.
During the weekly inter-ministerial meeting, due to minimal environmental and community impact, a decision was reached that the CERENERGY battery project is a manufacturing installation.
Consequently, it will be approved under the state approval process, rather than the more complex federal BimSchG process.
This adjustment in the approval process is expected to streamline and expedite the overall process significantly.
ABG says its joint venture has been fortunate to receive exceptional support from various ministries and regulatory bodies in Saxony.
Remarkably, the Saxony state government has established an inter-ministerial task force dedicated to assisting in expediting the approval process, demonstrating their commitment to facilitating a streamlined path for the project.
As the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the CERENERGY battery project and project finance continues to progress, ABG says it is taking a proactive approach by initiating the project’s permit and license process in parallel.
This strategic decision aims to prevent any potential delays in project execution once financing is secured.
Furthermore, obtaining an operating license provides financial institutions with a higher degree of confidence.
Group managing director Iggy Tan says that Altech is pleased to have initiated the licensing application for its 100 MWh CERENERGY battery project so early.
“Considering that we only executed the joint venture agreements with Fraunhofer IKTS about 12 months ago, this is a tremendous achievement,” he says.
“Our approach of being dynamic, quick moving and to run things concurrently, puts Altech in good stead to complete the DFS and continue the financing process.
“We appreciate the authorities’ recognition of our professional and responsible approach, and we’re thankful for their exceptional support”.
This article was developed in collaboration with Altech Batteries, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.