Redwood Supplies has recycled e-bike batteries and Tesla batteries. Now, it’s able to stage up just a few sizes.
The electrical car battery recycling and manufacturing enterprise based by the previous chief technologist of Tesla introduced right now that it’s going to assist decommission and recycle a 4MWh stationary storage substation in Kauai, Hawaii, as a part of a large photo voltaic array. The decommissioning just lately wrapped and the batteries are actually being transported to the corporate’s facility in north Nevada for recycling.
It will likely be one among Redwood’s first battery vitality storage programs and an necessary step within the firm’s broader effort to show that lithium-ion batteries and vitality storage merchandise of all sizes can have a brand new life past their present ones.
It’s able to stage up just a few sizes
For JB Straubel, former Tesla CTO and founding father of Redwood, it’s a venture that has come full circle. Straubel was concerned in one other set up venture with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative in 2015 whereas at Tesla. That venture was a 52 megawatt-hour battery set up plus a 13MW SolarCity photo voltaic farm. Tesla and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), the facility firm that ordered the venture, initially stated the venture would cut back fossil gas utilization by 1.6 million gallons per yr.
“In relation to renewable vitality deployment, Hawaiʻi has all the time been a pacesetter, energizing a few of the earliest and largest photo voltaic plus storage tasks on earth,” Straubel stated in an announcement. “Our partnership with KIUC to decommission and recycle the first-generation storage venture on the Anahola substation, demonstrates their true dedication to sustainability.”
To make certain, the batteries which can be being decommissioned and recycled should not the Tesla batteries; these batteries are at a separate KIUC set up. “That one remains to be powering away and shall be for a lot of extra years!” the corporate stated.
The storage system that Redwood shall be recycling is KIUC’s Anahola substation, a 4MWh battery storage system with a 6MW energy ranking that consists of lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide chemistries. The system consists of eight battery containers for a complete of two,320 modules that weigh 44,544kg (98,202 kilos or 49 tons).
Redwood sees massive enterprise in stationary storage decommissioning and recycling, noting that 4.8GW have been put in final yr within the US alone. The corporate just lately partnered with Southern Firm and EPRI to recycle one of many earliest grid-scale lithium-ion battery storage system in Cedartown, Georgia.
“As we take into consideration long-term battery circularity, stationary storage decommissioning and recycling are an integral a part of our enterprise,” the corporate stated.
Redwood Supplies was based in 2017 by Straubel. Along with breaking down scrap from Tesla’s battery-making course of with Panasonic, Redwood additionally recycles EV batteries from Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Specialised, Amazon, Lyft, Rad Energy Bikes, and others. The corporate additionally produces anodes and cathodes, vital battery parts, at a facility in South Carolina.
Lots of the batteries from these first-wave electrical automobiles, just like the Nissan Leaf, are simply now reaching the top of their lifespan and are in want of recycling. After receiving batteries from its varied companions, Redwood begins a chemical recycling course of through which it strips out and refines the related components like nickel, cobalt, and copper. A sure share of that refined materials can then be reintegrated into the battery-making course of — 95 p.c of key battery metals on common, based on Redwood.