SPARTON Resources’ Chinese subsidiary Jiujiang Sparton Vanadium Trade and Tech Co Ltd (JJSP) has received notification that commissioning of the Zhangbei Project’s 8 Megawatt Hour Vanadium Flow Battery has been officially approved. An acceptance letter was received on February 22 from the battery’s owner, State Grid North China Company Limited.

The acceptance was received following preparation of performance reports by engineers and technicians from State Grid and JJSP, confirming that the battery met all design and performance protocols. This work completed the final phase of the commissioning program.

The battery storage facilities at the Zhangbei clean power project near Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, north of Beijing.
The battery storage facilities at the Zhangbei clean power project near Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, north of Beijing.

State Grid and JJSP representatives say they are extremely pleased with the battery performance and State Grid has put the unit into operation at the Zhangbei Project. The commissioning contract further provides for JJSP to continue to provide and fund the service obligations for this battery by providing three years of maintenance at the installation.

The Zhangbei Project is operated by State Grid. It is approximately 180km north of downtown Beijing, near Zhangjiakou, in Hebei Province. It integrates wind power, solar power, energy storage and smart grid transmission technologies. Clean power generated by this project supplies a portion of north China’s energy needs. The energy storage equipment installed includes the 8 Megawatt Hour Vanadium Flow Battery commissioned through the efforts of JJSP.

The project is China’s largest wind and solar energy electricity generation and storage installation. It currently includes 500 megawatts of wind power and 100 megawatts of solar power, as well as the world’s largest chemical energy storage station. It covers 200 square kilometres and is a key component of China’s Golden Sun Photovoltaic Solar Pilot Project.

Sparton president Lee Barker says, “Acceptance of the battery by State Grid after a rigorous commissioning program is a significant milestone for the company. The ongoing successful operation of the battery and additional energy storage planned at Zhangbei are positive elements for new opportunities here and elsewhere.

“The experience in the commissioning of this battery has confirmed our belief that vanadium flow batteries are currently the most practical solution for large-scale electricity storage. As an extension to our subsidiary’s success in assisting with the commissioning program, we are pursuing the opportunity to become directly involved in this industry.

“Advanced due diligence and negotiations are under way related to the possible acquisition of an international vanadium battery manufacturing group in association with strategic partners. These opportunities arise from pursuing vanadium exploration and mining in China.”