Monday, August 21, 2017

More On The Alevo Battery Story Posted Earlier -- August 21, 2017

A short note was posted earlier today. Now, more of the story:

From PennEnergy:
A startup company is giving up plans to build boxcar-sized batteries that help power companies save energy or shift to wind and solar power.
Alevo Manufacturing Inc. informed state officials Friday that it was immediately shutting down its factory inside a massive, former Philip Morris USA cigarette plant and filing for bankruptcy protection. The company said it was terminating 245 workers Friday and laying off the remaining 45 by the end of September "due to unforeseen business circumstances."
The company had said in 2014 it projected employing up to 2,500 workers by this year at its factory in Concord, North Carolina.
Alevo hoped to sell its batteries to electric grid operators and utilities, which now have to power fossil-fuel-powered plants up and down quickly to match electricity demand. That uses more fuel than just keeping the plants steadily churning out power at consistent levels.
Instead, the company said it would liquidate its assets under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and try to pay off its creditors.
And more:
Alevo's prospects always hinged on solving a notoriously tricky technological problem — how to make a huge, powerful battery that isn't too expensive and can take the punishment of being charged and discharged hundreds or thousands of times. So far, no company has been able to crack that formula at an attractive price.
Another obstacle to its lofty manufacturing and hiring ambitions was that electricity is regulated differently in each U.S. state, and it is not clear in many cases how utilities could make money employing Alevo's battery.
For Tesla acolytes who might have missed the key paragraph in this story, to repeat:
Alevo's prospects always hinged on solving a notoriously tricky technological problem — how to make a huge, powerful battery that isn't too expensive and can take the punishment of being charged and discharged hundreds or thousands of times. So far, no company has been able to crack that formula at an attractive price.
And again, for those wondering why wind and solar are not bringing down electric prices, from the article:
Alevo hoped to sell its batteries to electric grid operators and utilities, which now have to power fossil-fuel-powered plants up and down quickly to match electricity demand. That uses more fuel than just keeping the plants steadily churning out power at consistent levels.
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2 comments:

  1. And, once again, South Australia's situation comes to mind.
    The 9 turbines being hastily shipped and assembled have only a few weeks to become operational before the temperatures soar Down Under.
    Burning diesel at the rate of 20,000 gallons per hour to keep the lights on ... crazy.

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  2. Two decades ago (or thereabouts) I was in west Africa -- The Gambia -- one of the poorest countries in Africa -- I was staying in a "western" hotel -- the whole economy was run on electricity generated by diesel generators. South Australia is now "back" to western Africa two decades ago.

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