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Second Life Batteries for Domestic Electricity Storage

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SLB-DES (Second Life Batteries for Domestic Electricity Storage)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-03-31

• What is the problem/issue being addressed?

The SLB-DES project, led by UK SME Powervault, addresses the identified market need for more affordable home electricity storage, combining a number of novel innovations across product design, remanufacturing and financing – to unlock a solution capable of achieving mass market traction. Powervault believes it’s novel ‘Second Life Battery for Domestic Electricity Storage’ will be affordable enough to unlock new customer segments (e.g. social landlords) and radically accelerate uptake of a low carbon technology central to decarbonisation of the energy system.

• Why is it important for society?

Following the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive, the uptake of renewable energy generation sources has surged. Primary production of renewable energy within the EU-28 in 2014 was 196mtoe, equivalent to 25.4% of total primary energy production, an increase of 73% since 2004 at an average growth of 5.6% p.a. The variable nature of renewable energy supply, and common misalignment with demand necessistates increasing efforts to balance supply and demand. Curtailment, whereby renewable generators, are paid to switch off during periods of high supply and low demand constitutes an economic loss, accruing unnecessary costs. To align renewables’ inherent intermittency with demand, without having to build significant amounts of excess generation for peak period use, and avoid the costs of curtailment, flexibility – such as energy storage- is required. Access to cost-effective solutions such as SLB-DES will help ensure decarbonisation of the energy system is as cost-effective as possible for all stakeholders.

• What are the overall objectives?

During this Phase I feasibility study Powervault sought to achieve the following objectives:
1) To enhance PV’s long term growth and profitability, PV must progress SLB-DES with the aim of continental commercialisation within 2 years by:
2) Deepening understanding of the EU market opportunity to better inform commercialisation strategy and technical development so as to maximise long-term market penetration potential.
3) Strengthening SLB-SaaS’s competitive position by attracting additional private investment, and allowing PV to further develop emerging IP associated with the product, the benefits of which can be realised across the whole Europe.
4) Develop new, cross-industry partnerships required to exploit the full economic and environmental benefits of SLB-DES, engaging stakeholders in asset finance, transport and the wider energy sector for collaborative success. 5)To evolve SLB-DES and transform an initial business plan into a robust strategy for mass market commercialisation.
Powervault's 4 month feasibility study completed a comprehensive and complimentary package of work with which to support progression of the SLB-DES innovation. This incuded:

1) Market Study: Segmentation and quantification of the addressable market. Powervault ascertained the addressable market across 5 target European countries (France, Germany, UK, Italy and Sweden), identified the main drivers, the main barriers and an overview of the competitive landscape.

3) Customer Proposition: Develop, test and refine propositions for each target market segment. Powervault engaged with end users and distribution stakeholders to refine the SLB-DES proposition. Critically this involved understanding the different value propositions for different target markets (e.g. solar PV maxismisation vs tariff optimisation). Powervault gained valuable feedback from distribution partners highlighting aspects of the product most valued by them, and areas where SLB can be refined.

4) Supply Chain Engagement: engage with supply chain partners (EV manufacturers and automotive dealers, battery vendors, and components suppliers) to de-risk the supply chain. Powervault completed dialogue with a range of suppliers who could facilitate SLB-DES's exploitation, including critically a number of electric vehicle companies with growing supply of second life batteries.

5) Technology Development: Road map refined, cost reduction milestones to underpin further development defined, IPR. Powervault has progressed its IPR position during the course of this study thanks to support from Mathys & Squire LLP. Cost reduction strategies through to 2024 have also been completed.

6) Implementation Plan: Objective is to create an integrated commercial and technology development plan. Powervault updated its risk register based on study results and devised a refined exploitation plan based on study findings. Powervault undertook financial forecasting to understand the investment required to take SLB-DES to market, and the potential sources of finance available.
Undertaking this feasibility study has allowed Powervault to progress its innovative second life batteries (SLB) concept.

With this project we were able to support recruitment of one more technical team member and one more commercial team member. Study findings have helped inform our commericalisation strategy and broker new relationships across both distribution and supply. Powervault has been able to research further the remanufacturing process around its SLB innovation and help align this with the business opportunity. New services and new business models are anticipated to arise from these activities.

If Powervault are able to successfully exploit the SLB-DES opportunity, we believe we can reach sales of >120,000 by 2024 and achieve market presence in 5 different EU countries. Powervault believe its leadership in this space will help Europe improve its access to lithium, increase implementation of circular economy principles and create 70+ new jobs by 2024.

By creating a truly affordable home energy storage solution Powervault believe it can unlock the benefits of energy storage to new customers segments, for whom the current high upfront price is completely unfeasible for. This way more renewable energy can be used locally, helping to support the cost-effective integration of more variable renewable generation into the energy system. With the roll out of smart meters, access to affordable home energy storage means savings can be optimised for end users.

Powervault believe developing a novel, high value remanufacturing process can also help generate new jobs in an area the EU strongly seek to improve its global position in.
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