VRB Energy Announces Agreement For China’s Largest Solar Battery; A 100Mw Solar & Storage Project In Hubei Province Framework Also Includes ‘Gigafactory’ Manufacturing Facility And Vanadium Flow Battery R&D Institute

BEIJING and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VRB Energy Chairman Robert Friedland and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mianyan Huang arepleased to announce a framework agreement for a 100 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and 100MW / 500MWh vanadium flow battery integrated power station project in Xiangyang, Hubei Province.

The agreement also includes construction of the first 50MW per annum of a new 1,000MW per annum VRB-ESS® “Gigafactory” manufacturing facility, and a vanadium flow battery intelligent energy research and development (R&D) institute.

The agreement was signed by the Xiangyang Municipal Government, Hubei Pingfan New Energy, the Xiangyang High-tech State-owned Capital Investment and Operation Group, and VRB Energy at a ceremony on March 4th. The initial 40MW / 200MWh VRB-ESS® and 50MW per annum of manufacturing will start construction by May 2021.

“This project is a massive catalyst for VRB Energy’s global growth and further demonstrates that we are developing the absolute best technologies to support the worldwide green energy revolution,” said Mr. Friedland.

“China wants to install over 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV and wind power by 2030 and they are not alone in the commitment to decarbonization and the ‘greening’ of their power grids; with both the U.S. and the European Union prioritizing renewable power solutions. Energy storage remains a key challenge in the mass adoption of renewable energy, and we’re extremely proud to be leading the way in creating cutting-edge solutions at VRB,” Mr. Friedland added.

The project builds upon the success of a “PV+VRB” project of 3MW PV and 3MW / 12MWh VRB-ESS® in Xiangyang executed with Pingfan New Energy in 2019, which further validates the business model and the technology as ideally suited for integration of the daily cycling of solar PV onto utility grids.

Dr. Huang noted that Hubei Province has rich mineral resources, outstanding industrial advantages, and an excellent business environment.

“This presents a unique opportunity for scale-up of the vanadium flow battery industry, and we applaud the government’s plans to support development of a US$14 billion world-leading vanadium energy storage industry cluster,” Huang commented.

VRB Energy’s 100MW project in Hubei is among a growing number of 100MW flow battery projects being prioritized in China as part of its national energy storage policy and accelerated infrastructure investment in support of post-Covid economic growth. In addition, provinces from Xinjiang to Shandong are now requiring minimums of 5% to 20% energy storage to be installed with new solar and wind power development.

Beyond China, the company has stated it is in discussions with numerous developers and utilities in the U.S., Australia and South Africa for 100MW-class PV+VRB projects. Developers and utilities are attracted to the low levelized cost of energy (LCOE) that VRB-ESS® deliver – with no cycle limits and no degradation of the vanadium electrolyte they are an ideal fit for the “heavy duty” daily cycling required for solar and wind integration to utility grids.

About VRB Energy

VRB Energy is a fast-growing, privately-held clean technology innovator. The company has developed the most reliable, longest-lasting vanadium flow battery in the world, with more than 30 megawatt-hours installed and in construction worldwide, and more than 800,000 hours of demonstrated performance. The combination of VRB Energy’s proprietary low-cost ion-exchange membrane, long-life electrolyte formulation and innovative flow cell design sets it apart from other providers.

VRB Energy’s vanadium redox battery (VRB®) systems store energy in liquid electrolyte in a patented process based on the reduction and oxidation of ionic forms of the element vanadium. This is a nearly infinitely repeatable process that is safe, reliable, and non-toxic. Components can be nearly 100% recycled at end of-life, dramatically improving lifecycle economics and environmental benefits compared to lithium-ion and other battery types.

VRB Energy is majority-owned by High Power Exploration (HPX), a North American, minerals exploration and development company that also invests in minerals-dependent, high-growth emerging technologies. HPX is a subsidiary of I-Pulse, a global leader in developing innovative commercial applications for pulsed power technologies that convert small amounts of electrical energy into limitless power to address a broad and growing suite of applications across multiple industrial markets. I-Pulse is a private company with offices in Toulouse, London, Tokyo and Vancouver.