“We help businesses keep their power bills low whether the source of their electricity is fossil fuels or wind. It’s already cost effective and is a resource that already makes sense.” Benjamin Lowe, Director of Policy and Market Development for the Concord-based manufacturer.
Grid-Scale Energy Storage Challenges
When it comes to producing grid-scale batteries, energy storage manufacturers deal with three critical challenges:
- Overheating / flammability
- Short life
- Cost effectiveness
To the first point, do you remember the recent stir about Sony’s lithium ion batteries exploding? Now imagine batteries on a grander scale — like the scale needed to power a hospital, school, or even a small city. An exploding cell phone battery is no small issue, but a large-scale battery… definitely not something you want bursting into flames.
Regarding points two and three, we’re really talking about efficiency. Utility-scale batteries become more efficient as software and analysis come into play, because of the fact that consumers don’t use power at a constant rate — our energy needs shift depending on the time of day, day of the week, season, and even year-to-year.
Key question: How do we distribute power to keep up with the ebb and flow or our energy needs?
Solution: Time-shift energy – a method in which we control our electricity by storing and delivering it at the place and time it is most needed.
Changing the Clean Energy Game
Alevo addresses the three great challenges above, and in the process is redefining how we harness energy.
With support from their large manufacturing operations in Concord, NC, Alevo creates and delivers grid-scale energy storage solutions. In 2016, they introduced the first commercially available, rechargeable, inorganic lithium-ion battery, addressing the big three critical grid-scale challenges all at once.
Their batteries are nonflammable and noncombustible, have extremely long and predictable shelf lives, and are built to make utility-scale energy storage cost effective and “smart.”
Impact in NC
Alevo currently employs 215 people at its Concord, N.C. battery manufacturing plant. They poured over $300 million into this plant, and have built approximately 2.5 million square feet of manufacturing space.
On February 28, Alevo announced they are adding more production lines and equipment to the existing facility in Concord — creating 200 additional jobs in manufacturing, engineering, maintenance, logistics, supply chain, and other roles — and injecting $251.5 million into the local economy.
Annual compensation for the company’s 200-plus new jobs will average approximately $56,000 per year, a nearly $20,000 increase over the area’s mean salary, and a great deal of business and individual income tax revenue will go to local communities and the state of North Carolina.
Alevo is an example of clean energy at work in North Carolina. Not only is the company providing a clean energy product that revolutionizes grid-scale energy storage, they are also helping to build our local economy and provide high-paying jobs to North Carolina residents.