Off the Grid  – Port Strategy, April 14, by Stevie Knight

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Battery improvements

There’s one change that stands to create an entirely new market dynamic: evolution of batteries.

“Only recently has efficient, lithium-ion­ based energy storage technology dropped to the right price threshold,” says Brent Perry of PBES. Further, he explains there’s been a lot of solid work on the technical side to avoid headline-grabbing thermal runaway incidents.

PBES Port Renewable EnergyThese two developments have already sparked a certain curiosity about the potential applications for both ports and ships, but Mr Perry explains a reality check is necessary: “We say although there are a thousand things you could do with batteries, there’s probably only five or so that you should do.” While these vary, number one is often about meeting new environmental legislation.

To deliver on the promise of easy, clean, on-the-spot power without large scale infrastructure work, PBES has developed a couple of practical solutions. On the waterfront a battery barge can supply 4MWh of energy to visiting ships, allowing them to turn off the engines while at berth. On the land side, the company’s newest project is an array on a skid “which provides 1MWh of power that can go anywhere in the port”.

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