Redflow lands two new battery deals, from rainforest to childcare centres


ASX-listed energy storage company Redflow has announced two new supply deals requiring nearly 40 of the company’s zinc-bromine flow batteries – including one with major telco Optus, to help power a mobile phone tower in Far North Queensland.
The deal with Optus will see the Brisbane-based company supply six of its 10 kilowatt-hour ZBM2 battery units, for energy storage at a remote communications tower in the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest.
Redflow said on Monday that the batteries would store and supply 60kWh of energy for the mobile phone tower in the Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree rainforest – a remote headland and ecotourism destination in FNQ.
The company said Optus had chosen its flow batteries for their sustained energy storage capacity, tolerance of warm temperatures, remote management capability and environmentally-friendly design.
The Optus project follows Redflow’s largest-ever order of zinc-bromine flow batteries, which was shipped in July, to provide energy storage for Fiji’s digital television network.
That $US1.2 million order from New Zealand-based Hitech Solutions has seen between five and 60 ZBM2 batteries installed at more than 10 sites in Fiji, many of which have no access to the country’s electricity grid.
“Our batteries thrive on heat and hard work and are not prone to thermal runaway like other battery chemistries,” said Redflow CEO Tim Harris in comments on Monday.
“This Optus deployment, along with Hitech’s use of ZBM2 batteries for its digital television network rollout in Fiji, demonstrates how Redflow is establishing its credentials in the telecoms sector.”
And in a second deal in as many days, Redflow announced on Friday that it was supplying a total of 32 of its ZBM2 batteries to two new childcare centres being built in Melbourne’s east.
The contract will see Redflow partner Torus Group install the batteries – 160kWh of storage each, or 16 battery units – alongside 100kW each of solar panels at the Knox Children and Family Centres.
The solar and storage systems are expected to save the childcare centres – one in Wantirna South (due to open in January 2019) and one in Bayswater (due to open in March 2019) – $140,000 each a year on energy costs.
Torus Group CEO Anthony Vippond said the solar and Redflow batteries – the first of which are to be installed this week – would have multiple benefits for the facilities, including drastically reducing their dependence on the grid.
As part of the project, Vippond Torus Group offshoot Lotus Energy is also investigating the potential for the two childcare centres to share their solar power using blockchain technology, and thus further bolster their energy independence.
“As well as cutting power costs, they will provide resilience for essential services, such as backup power for exit and emergency lighting and lift motors, which is important in a community facility like this,” he said.
“Also, Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries do not have the potential fire risk that’s associated with other battery chemistries … (and) use components that are easy to recycle or reuse.”
Redflow CEO Tim Harris said this deployment further validated zinc-bromine flow batteries as an attractive energy storage solution.
“This latest deployment of 32 batteries highlights the potential energy storage capabilities of Redflow’s batteries and the substantial efficiencies and cost savings our technologies can generate,” he said.
“In addition, the potential ability for the batteries to share renewably-generated energy across sites provides an exciting opportunity for Redflow to lead the industry as battery technologies become a further necessity in an energy-constrained world.”

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