French energy giant Engie invests in 2nd life batteries
Energy group Engie and the Macquarie Group are investing 3m pounds in UK-based company Connected Energy that is known for its stationary energy storage system E-STOR.
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In August 2017, Renault and Connected Energy installed charge points that give used batteries a second life. Fuelled by solar or wind power, the E-STOR system allows old EV batteries to become useful again as stationary energy storage. Once stored, the renewable energy then feeds Renault’s EVs.
The first two stations have been erected in Germany and Belgium. With the fresh money, the company wants now to grow further in Great Britain and beyond.
Update 07 January 2021: Utility group Engie has increased its strategic investment in Connected Energy that specialises in stationary energy storage systems made from retired electric car batteries. Connected Energy’s new funding round also includes participation from existing investors Sumitomo and Macquarie. In addition, there is a research grant from Innovate UK.
Johann Boukhors, managing director of Engie New Ventures, called Connected Energy an “ingenious” solution to one of the energy sector’s biggest challenges. Connected Energy says its system can extend the useful life of EV batteries by five to 10 years, depending on age and condition. In October, Connected Energy had opened its second large-scale (360 kWh) storage facility in Suffolk, southern England. In principle, systems between 100 kWh and 15 MWh should be possible.