Brisbane-based battery maker Redflow is in the running to deliver its second megawatt-scale energy storage system – and the first in its home market of Australia – after its zinc-bromine flow batteries were named in a request for tender for a project in Western Australia.
Redflow said late last week that a tender request for a solar and battery system for the Karratha Leisureplex in north-western WA had called for either a 1MWh to 2MWh energy storage system and had specified Redflow’s batteries as the preferred chemistry for the job.
The company noted that while this did not guarantee that Redflow would be given the role as the energy storage technology provider for the Leisureplex project, the RFT mention did put the company in a preferred position.
The Karratha Leisureplex is a regional sporting hub featuring a fitness centre, aquatic centre, indoor and outdoor courts and playing fields. The City of Karratha is seeking to install solar and battery storage to reduce its reliance on the electricity grid and cut its power costs.
If Redflow was selected for the job, it would mark its second megawatt-hour battery order, following up on the 2MWh solution it is currently providing for Anaergia in California, and its first, so far, in Australia.
“We are delighted to have received significant interest in our batteries for large projects, with momentum building in Australia and in the US, for megawatt-hour systems,” said Redflow managing director and CEO Tim Harris.
The news of the potential Karratha job was announced alongside the company’s results for the 2020-21 financial year, which included $2.2 million in revenue, the company’s largest single Australian battery order to date, and its first megawatt-scale battery order in the US.
While the battery maker posted a $9.5 million loss (after tax) for the year, the report said a busy second-half of 2020-21 had put the company in a “strong cash position,” with an order backlog of 176 batteries at 30 June 2021 all for delivery during 2021-2022.
Having gained a strong foothold in the industrial energy storage market, Redflow has been making a concerted shift in focus to long-duration, network-connected battery storage since the launch of its grid-scale offering, dubbed Energy Pod Z, as a platform to start delivering megawatt-hour energy storage systems.
It is also seeking to leverage what it describes in its results announcement as a growing recognition of flow batteries as being particularly well suited to long-duration energy storage, while also having a safer chemistry than lithium-ion batteries.
In its results announcement on Friday, Redflow said its key priorities for the year ahead included executing on current contracts, launching its Gen 3 ZBM flow battery technology, pushing its Energy PodZ for larger-scale applications, and building on its push into the US energy storage market.
The company also noted ongoing pressures from the global Coronavirus pandemic, which was currently taking a particularly heavy toll in Thailand, which is home to Redflow’s manufacturing base.
Redflow said Thailand had hit a daily record of more than 20,000 Covid-19 cases earlier in August, with no national vaccination program yet in place.
This was, in turn, having some “short-term impacts” on production, Redflow said, as well as on freight and the ability of the company’s management and engineering team to travel to Thailand.
But Redflow said it was continuing to monitor the situation, and remained confident that Thailand still presented the “optimal manufacturing location for current need and immediate growth plans.”