Soluna batteries hit Australian market, with plans for local manufacturing

A new battery brand has hit the Australian market this week, with the first commercial shipment of China-made Soluna lithium-ion energy storage products arriving in Victoria.

The energy storage systems – which are already being sold in Europe and the US – will be sold locally by Soluna Australia, a joint venture between an ASX-listed lithium recycling, extraction and processing outfit Lithium Australia and DLG Group, one of China’s 10-largest producers of lithium-ion cells.

Lithium Australia said on Monday it had completed the formalities for joint battery marketing operations with DLG – a 50:50 partnership first flagged in May as part of a broader plan to boost battery uptake, and potentially also manufacturing, in Australia.

“A detailed investigation of the Australian energy-storage industry identified serious supply-chain constraints in the delivery of LIBs to Australian customers,” a statement said.

“Soluna Australia intends to provide a new and reliable supply source for renewable energy solutions to power users in Australia.”

The companies said Soluna Australia’s plans included a focus on creating innovative energy storage solutions for remote-site and mining applications. Although the company will provide grid-connected and residential battery solutions, too.

They would also evaluate the feasibility of manufacturing battery packs in Australia, while offering battery recycling solutions through Lithium Australia’s already established business.

On that front, the companies will work together to further develop the production of proprietary cathode powders by VSPC Ltd – a 100%-owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia – for use in DLG batteries.

The companies said that they had been working together “for some time now,” to test lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode powders produced at Lithium Australia’s pilot plant in Brisbane, Australia.

Those LFP products were recently found to have met DLG’s stringent specifications for energy and power cells in Australia.

“Formalisation of Lithium Australia’s joint venture with DLG, which resulted in the creation of Soluna Australia, paves the way for the introduction of superior energy-storage products into the Australian market, reducing the carbon footprint of national energy consumption for both residential and industrial consumers,” said Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin on Monday.

“We foresee great potential for energy storage in fringe-of-grid and off-grid applications, as well as improvements in the utilisation of power from existing grids,” he said.

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