How Old EV Batteries Store Solar Power in the California Desert

As first reported by Marketplace…

As the world gradually transitions to renewable energy, there are still challenges to be faced. One of these is the issue of storage, particularly when it comes to clean energy. The demand for clean energy in the evening is high, yet there are not enough sources to meet this demand. Additionally, electric vehicle batteries contain precious metals that are difficult to extract and recycle. In Lancaster, California, a company called B2U Storage Solutions is trying to address these two challenges simultaneously with their innovative approach to energy storage.

“This is exactly the type of market-based solutions that we’re looking for,” said manager Yamen Nanne of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “As more and more EV batteries become available to the secondary market, I think we’re gonna see more and more of this.” 

B2U Storage Solutions is using the surplus supply of used electric vehicle batteries to meet the high demand for stored clean energy. Dozens of trailers containing old EV batteries stand next to each other in the California desert, where there is an abundance of unmitigated sunlight.

Each battery, with 60% to 70% of its original charge capacity, is connected by wires to store the energy generated by the solar panels during the day. With 1,300 old EV batteries utilized in total, the company can sell solar power back to the grid in the evening—when the demand is at its peak.

As we transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future, finding new and innovative ways to address the pressing issue of energy storage is critical. The idea behind B2U Storage Solutions can be extended to other areas that are not powered by the grid. This innovative approach to energy storage can be used in off-grid systems and in communities that are not yet connected to the main grid.

Another significant advantage of the B2U solution is its ability to extend the life of electric vehicle batteries. Rather than discarding, recycling or having to extract important materials from batteries that have reached the end of their lives, B2U is repurposing the batteries and giving them a new lease of life. It is a smart and eco-friendly approach that helps reduce harmful waste and preserves the earth’s resources.

Moreover, initiatives like B2U Storage Solutions can help lower the cost of energy storage, thereby making renewable energy more affordable. This is especially important to low-income households who cannot always afford the high cost of electricity and rely on solar power to keep their lights on.

In conclusion, B2U Storage Solutions has demonstrated the potential for using old electric vehicle batteries to meet the high demand for stored clean energy. They have repurposed batteries that would typically be discarded, extracted, or recycled, thus extending its affectivity to last longer. This innovative approach has the potential to address the challenges of energy storage in communities and areas that are not powered by the grid. It also has the potential to lower the cost of energy storage, making renewable energy more affordable for all. The Californian desert is now home to an impressive and forward-thinking initiative that should be replicated in other regions around the world.