This blog is focused on trends in battery technology and other types of energy storage that are used for smart grid load leveling and stabilization, and as back-up power for renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics/solar power, hydro and wind energy. Trends in lithium ion batteries, lead-acid, metal-air, NaS (sodium sulfur), ZnBr (zinc-bromine) batteries will be covered, as well as compressed air energy storage (CAES), flywheels, fuel cells and supercapacitors.
Saft America opened a factory in Jacksonville, Florida, that will produce advanced lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles and other applications. Saft expects to produce 370 megawatt hours of battery power a year – the equivalent of supplying more than 37,000 electric-drive vehicles.
Saft America Incorporated’s Industrial Battery Group won a $95.5 million DOE grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and provided an additional $95.5 million in cost share to build the new 235,000 square foot battery factory capable of manufacturing high quantities of lithium-ion cells, modules, and batteries.
This project is part of the Recovery Act’s $2 billion investments in battery and electric drive component manufacturing, supporting 20 battery and 10 component manufacturing factories. At full scale, these investments will support factories with the capacity to supply more than 500,000 electric drive vehicles. These factories are helping build a domestic electric-drive vehicle industry – the U.S. produced less than 2 percent of the world’s batteries in 2008. By the end of 2012, it is estimated that the U.S. will have the capacity to produce 20 percent of the world’s advanced vehicle batteries. These factories are also lowering costs. By 2013, these factories will help cut battery costs in half, making electric-drive vehicles much more affordable for Americans. Additional DOE investments in R&D will continue this type of innovation well beyond 2015, providing a long-term path for a competitive industry.