Swiss group Alevo announces $1 bn investment in battery manufacturing.

Guardian: “Could a long-vacant cigarette factory in North Carolina build the rechargeable battery that will unlock the future of the clean energy economy?”
“The Swiss-based Alevo Group launched the new battery technology on Tuesday. After spending $68.5m (£42.5m) for the factory, the group said it would spend up to $1bn to develop a system that would get rid of waste on the grid and expand the use of wind and solar power.
The project, a joint venture with state-owned China-ZK International Energy Investment Co, aims to ship its first GridBank, its patented battery array, to Guangdong Province this year, going into production on a commercial scale in mid-2015.
The container-sized arrays store 2MW and would be installed on-site at power plants.
Jostein Eikeland, Alevo’s chief executive, said in an interview that the company had an agreement with the Turkish state power authority, and was in discussions with US power companies.
“It’s a gamechanger,” he said.
“If we can take some of the massive energy that is wasted today by mismanagement of the grid and inject it where it is needed, everybody wins,” said Eikeland.
Eikeland said the company would create 2,500 jobs at the factory in Concord over the next three years.
The company would not go into specifics on its technology, or discuss the price of the battery arrays.
….Alevo said its engineers spent 10 years developing a version of the lithium ion batteries found in most consumer electronics.
It said its lithium ferrophosphate and graphite batteries would help guarantee an even flow of electricity over the grid, and smooth deployment of wind and solar power.
The battery arrays can run 24/7 and be recharged within 30 minutes, with a lifespan of 40,000 charges. There is a lower fire risk than lithium ion batteries.
….In a presentation to the Environmental Protection Agency, Alevo said installation of its energy storage system would reduce waste at a typical coal plant by up to 11%, saving electricity companies money, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 7%.”