The company will also be responsible for first 50MW per annum portion of a new 1,000MW per annum VRB-ESS Gigafactory manufacturing facility


VRB Energy cell stack and power module manufacturing in Beijing. (Credit: VRB Energy.)

VRB Energy has reached a framework agreement for a 100MW solar photovoltaic (PV) and 100MW/500MWh vanadium flow battery integrated power station project in China.

The agreement also includes building the first 50MW per annum portion of a new 1,000MW per annum VRB-ESS Gigafactory manufacturing facility.

Also, the company would build a vanadium flow battery intelligent energy research and development (R&D) institute.

The agreement was signed by the Xiangyang Municipal Government, Hubei Pingfan New Energy, the Xiangyang High-tech State-owned Capital Investment and Operation Group, and VRB Energy.

VRB Energy intends to commence the initial construction of 40MW/200MWh VRB-ESS and 50MW per annum of manufacturing by May 2021.

VRB Energy chairman Robert Friedland said: “This project is a massive catalyst for VRB Energy’s global growth and further demonstrates that we are developing the absolute best technologies to support the worldwide green energy revolution.

“China wants to install over 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV and wind power by 2030 and they are not alone in the commitment to decarbonization and the ‘greening’ of their power grids; with both the U.S. and the European Union prioritizing renewable power solutions.

“Energy storage remains a key challenge in the mass adoption of renewable energy, and we’re extremely proud to be leading the way in creating cutting-edge solutions at VRB.”

The agreement follows the company’s PV plus VRB project comprising 3MW PV and 3MW/12MWh VRB-ESS in Xiangyang, executed with Pingfan New Energy in 2019.

The 100MW project in Hubei is among various 100MW flow battery projects supported by China’s national energy storage policy.

Apart from China, VRB Energy is in discussions with many developers and utilities in the US, Australia and South Africa for 100MW-class PV plus VRB projects.

VRB Energy chief executive officer Mianyan Huang said: “Hubei Province has rich mineral resources, outstanding industrial advantages, and an excellent business environment.

“This presents a unique opportunity for scale-up of the vanadium flow battery industry, and we applaud the government’s plans to support development of a US$14 billion world-leading vanadium energy storage industry cluster.”