Eco Investor May 2017

Pre-Revenue Securities

Australian Vanadium Looking at Residential Battery Market

Australian Vanadium's battery subsidiary VSUN Energy says there is strong demand for a residential scale Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRB) for the Australian market, and it is undertaking a study into developing a local residential product. VSUN Energy has received over 80 requests for domestic storage devices since its start up a year ago.

Managing director, Vincent Algar said vanadium flow technology has the ability to transform the use of rooftop solar energy. Small VRB units are a perfect fit for residential storage and other small scale remote applications, and discussions are underway about the local manufacture of VRBs. Australian Vanadium will supply the vanadium electrolyte.

While the move sounds positive, it raises the question of how sales are going for larger applications. VSUN sold a unit to a WA tree nursery last May, but since then there has been no word of any further sales.

However, it said that it has changed its sales strategy and appointed sub-agents in the solar industry. This allows solar installers and consultants to collaborate in sales opportunities where storage is requested by the customer.

The company currently has 72 potential sales leads. All the leads are for CellCube systems and some include solar PV systems. The number of CellCube units in this pipeline is 316, which represents 225.5 MWh of storage. The main interest in these leads is in large CellCube systems of 250 kW to 1,000 kWh and larger. The company said this indicates the very large potential market for VRB systems in Australia. Interest in multiple smaller units is also growing. The leads are in the mining, industrial, agricultural, multi-residential, hotels, educational and commercial sectors.

VSUN Energy also submitted responses to the South Australian and Western Australian Governments and two Victorian Expression of Interests for grid-scale energy storage.

Meanwhile, the first VRB energy storage system in WA at the tree nursery has performed flawlessly so far. The company said the battery has been continuously monitored over the internet and the site has been completely powered day and night by solar power, with the stored energy from the battery used during non-sunlight hours. No grid usage has been required.

The company has released an updated time line for its flagship vanadium project at Gabanintha in central WA. It aims to complete a resource update including cobalt in May, the mine design and preliminary schedule by July, the metallurgical test program by August, the water supply and hydrology studies by October, the Environmental Studies and the Environmental and Permitting Review by November, and the marketing and offtake negotiations by December. (ASX: AVL)

 

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