American Vanadium Corp., owner of the only known U.S. deposit of the metal, is in talks with a global power company and two large domestic solar developers on plans to use its battery technology in “major” contracts they’re seeking.
The three are targeting the deals to install solar and energy-storage microgrids this year, American Vanadium Chief Executive Officer Bill Radvak said in an interview in London.
“We’ve taken a partnering strategy as opposed to selling one-offs,” Radvak said. “We targeted the largest energy developers, solar developers and integrators in North America, proposing to be the solution provider for major companies that have either numerous customers or a backlog of significant projects in dire need of long-duration energy storage.”
American Vanadium sells vanadium-flow batteries under a long-term partnership with DMG Mori Seiki AG’s Gildemeister unit. The company’s CellCube batteries store 100 kilowatts to 10 megawatts of energy from 4 to 12 hours. Unlike lead-acid or lithium-ion units, they can be recharged and discharged indefinitely, lasting as long as 20 years, according to Radvak.
Energy storage is increasingly important as economies shift to using power from the sun and wind that varies according to the weather. Batteries store spare power for release when demand peaks. California regulators in October ordered the state’s utilities to buy 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020.
While American Vanadium’s focus is North American, it’s also interested in South American countries such as Chile, Radvak said. “When you add up all the global opportunities, CellCube sales could reach $1 billion a year,” he said.
The company in April agreed to install an energy-storage system designed to reduce power costs for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the operator of New York’s subways and buses. The MTA plans to charge the batteries at night when power is cheap and discharge them when energy is more expensive.