This is the first time a vanadium flow / lithium hybrid energy storage system has been deployed in Australia and marks redT’s entry into the burgeoning Australian market for energy storage which we currently estimate at between AUD $20-30bn, up to 2030.

The system, which comprises 900kWh of redT flow machines coupled with a 120kW C1-rated lithium battery, will be deployed as an active energy storage infrastructure asset at the University’s new 11,400 m2 Biomedical Learning and Teaching building, which will house state-of-the-art biomedical research laboratories over 4 floors. Coupled with on-site solar PV assets, the system will be used to maximise the university’s utilisation of renewable energy to significantly reduce energy costs for campus buildings. This will generate significant savings for the site and also open up potential new revenue streams, in the form of both contracted and merchant grid services in the future. The system will be used as a ‘flexible platform’ and will become part of the “Monash Microgrid”, in partnership with Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI). The project aims to integrate distributed renewables on Monash’s campuses to increase reliability and stability within the local grid and in the future, allow for innovative, market based peer-to-peer energy trading.

By combining redT’s vanadium flow machines with lithium batteries, the individual strengths of the two complementary technologies can be harnessed and provide a complete and financially robust energy storage solution. Whilst lithium batteries are able to deliver high power requirements, they can only be used for short periods and their usage must be carefully managed, due to their short life span. Flow machines, by comparison, address the weaknesses of Lithium batteries. Flow machines have electrolyte that never degrades and are therefore well suited to high-energy applications over many hours, like ‘solar firming’, which involve heavy daily cycling. Combined, the flow machine can act as the ‘workhorse’, doing ~80% of the work each day, whilst the lithium element can be used infrequently to provide the final ~20% of the power requirements. By taking this approach, both technologies can be used in harmony to provide customers with the the lowest cost and best technical solution which satisfies all customer’s needs.

Scott McGregor, CEO, redT energy commented:

“We are very proud to announce the sale of our first hybrid energy storage system as part of the operating infrastruce of a high energy use building.  Monash University is one of the worlds leading Universities with over 70,000 students and 11 campuses across the world.

This project demonstrates “Energy storage” Flow machines integrated with “Power storage” Lithium batteries to meet the full range of customer requirments.  The Australian market has recently embraced Lithium batteries as a very useful “Power” intensive technology, suitable for high power applications and infrequent use as these batteries degrade and cannot be cycled intensively. By contrast, flow machines are the most suitable technology for frequent daily use for many hours at a time. By combining these technologies, the customer gets a long term energy infrastructure solution which best matches their requirement for low cost, secure and clean energy.

We believe that hybrid energy storage solutions such as this are a major development for the energy market as a whole and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this, launching this important project in Australia, one of the fastest growing energy storage markets globally. As a company, we pride ourselves on being innovators within the industry and this project is further evidence of the great strides we continue to make as a company.

Australia has one of the highest domestic power prices in the developed world. Recent adoption of renewable generation at grid level will bring to Australia low cost generation, however this will require durable energy storage to overcome the inherent variability of renewables and deliver ‘firm’ 24*7 cheap power. In short, renewables coupled with energy storage are crucial to delivering long term, low cost, reliable and clean energy in Australia.

Vanadium flow machine technology was invented in Australia, so this project has special significance to bring an Australian technology home.  This is a new customer market for redT where we expect to see considerable growth over the coming years.”

Tony Fullelove, Programme Director, Monash University commented:

“Energy storage is an integral part of the Monash Microgrid and also offers a vital opportunity for further understanding, as the Australian energy industry grapples with the trilemma of providing sustainable power whilst keeping costs low and maintaining energy security.

The hybrid solution offered by redT is particularly exciting as Monash will be using the energy component (flow machine) to shape the building load profile to minimise costs on a daily basis, whilst using the power component (lithium) to assist with the connection of the building to a highly intermittent and sustainable embedded generation network.”