Sparton Resources announces that Pu Neng Energy has been awarded a contract for construction of a 12-megawatt hour vanadium flow battery as Phase 1 of a larger 40-megawatt hour energy storage project in Hubei Province, China. This is a major milestone for Pu Neng and represents significant value to Sparton.

Sparton’s 89.8% owned subsidiary VanSpar Mining owns 18% of JD Holding, which in turn owns 100% of Pu Neng Energy, a world-leading vanadium flow battery manufacturer. Sparton does not know the full value of the transaction at this time and final terms of the battery contract are expected to be available at a future date.

This first phase will be installed in Zaoyang, Hubei to integrate a large solar photovoltaic system into the grid and installation will commence this month. When phase 1 is completed in early 2018, Pu Neng’s VRB will be the largest flow battery installed in China. As part of the initial agreement, Pu Neng and Hubei Vanadium will jointly develop a vanadium electrolyte supply from local vanadium sources, helping revitalise the local industrial base to meet future demand for energy storage.

Following the 10MW 40MWh project, there will be a larger 100MW 500MWh energy storage project that will be the cornerstone of a new smart energy grid in Hubei Province. This large project will serve as a critical peak power plant, delivering reliability and emissions reductions.

This type of project is a glimpse of the future of the Chinese electricity grid as the country is halting construction of many coal-fired power plants and pushing the integration of renewable energy with energy storage.

On September 22, 2017, the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released Document 1701, ‘Guidance on the Promotion of Energy Storage Technology and Industry Development’ aimed at accelerating the deployment of energy storage. The policy calls for the launch of pilot projects, including deployment of multiple 100MW-scale vanadium flow batteries, by the end of 2020, with the aim of large-scale deployment over the ensuing five years.

“We are delighted with Pu Neng’s progress this year,” said Sparton’s CEO Lee Barker. “All of the staff are to be commended on achieving this milestone in Pu Neng’s development as the Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) manufacturer of choice for the energy storage industry.”

VRB systems are poised to transform the largest utility grid in the world with low-cost, long-life performance in support of significant growth in solar and wind energy.

Pu Neng signed the Hubei Zaoyang project contract with Hubei Pingfan Vanadium Energy Storage Technology Company on October 18 at a signing ceremony attended by Zaoyang City Deputy Mayor Chen Dong. Pu Neng president, Dr Huang Mianyan said, “We are delighted to work with Hubei Pingfan for the development of this leading-edge project which is a demonstration of their leadership in this sector.”

Pu Neng chairman Robert Friedland said, “China has the largest and highest-grade vanadium resources in the world and is poised to use this miracle metal to fundamentally transform its electricity grid. With massive amounts of renewable energy and storage coming online, China will create the most modern, clean and efficient grid in the world.”

Hubei Pingfan chairman Xie Guangguo, said, “We selected a vanadium flow battery because they have superior safety, reliability and lifecycle economics compared to lithium-ion and other battery types. We selected Pu Neng because it is the leader in China with its VRB technology, and has a track record of performance with State Grid Corporation of China.”

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