UK-based company Connected Energy specializes in the development and implementation of innovative products for energy storage. The company utilizes its technologies to extend the life of ‘second life’ electric vehicle (EV) batteries from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). These OEMs include Land Rover, Nissan, Jaguar, and Renault. The EV batteries are taken by Connected Energy after their first in-car life and made into energy storage systems. 

By upcycling these batteries in this way, the company aims to reduce system costs and enhance environmental sustainability. Early last month, Connected Energy received a second round of funding for its second life battery technology. The corporate venture fund of ENGIE, ENGIE New Ventures (ENV), was one of the investors, along with Sumitomo and Macquarie, Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2, and others. The funding was also matched by Innovate UK, who supplied an R&D grant as part of the ENGIE and UKRI Clean Growth Innovation Fund.

 

Image used courtesy of Connected Energy 
Image used courtesy of Connected Energy 
 

E-STOR

Connected Energy’s low-cost storage technology, E-STOR, is the first commercially available energy storage system that uses ‘second life’ EV batteries. Customers can use E-STOR, alongside Connected Energy’s operating software and load management services to manage grid constraints. E-STOR can extend the life of EV batteries by 5-10 years and can allow users to generate new revenues, save energy costs, maximize onsite renewables, de-risk supply interruption, capitalize on load flexibility, and more. Together, the combined battery systems can be used to help balance the existing electricity grid or be used to make autonomous mini-grids. Aggregated battery systems may be more favorable than generator systems in areas such as construction sites. Generator systems can be noisy and so, are limited by noise regulations, as well as by emissions restrictions. 

Benefits of using E-STOR include the ability to pair storage with renewable installations, generate revenue in mixed streams, reduce carbon emissions across the grid, and maintain the stability of the grid and stop brownouts.

 

Image used courtesy of Connected Energy 
Image used courtesy of Connected Energy 
 

In a news release from January, CEO of Connected Energy, Matthew Lumsden, provided his comments: “We almost double the working life of the batteries for vehicles and thereby greatly increase the value created from the resources already embedded in them. Our objective is to provide our end-customers with bankable energy storage systems and our battery supply partners with reliable routes to market for their second-life batteries.” Lumsden added: “With this additional investment we aim to capitalize on our system data to further optimize our technology and continue to scale up our development plans.”

Managing Director at ENV, Johann Boukhors, spoke of ENGIE’s investment in Connected Energy and what it means for the company: “One of the energy sector’s biggest challenges is to be able to store large capacities of electricity as intermittent renewable energy generation becomes more widespread. Connected Energy offers ingenious solutions to answer this need while offering a second life to electric vehicle batteries. Its approach provides a strategic fit with ENGIE’s ambition to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world. Our investment in Connected Energy is a key example of developments in our distributed energy management business like Zero Emissions Services (ZES) in The Netherlands and other projects in Belgium.”

Lastly, Head of Urban Systems at Innovate UK, Christian Inglis, explained that “a clean economy and achieving net-zero by 2050 is of paramount importance as we aim to build back better from recent challenging times. It is great to see this first investment through the clean growth investor partnership come to fruition, and we are looking forward to this being the first of many investments that brings together SME innovations, private finance into those businesses, and government funding to enable de-risking of the technology with sustainable outcomes.”


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