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Counties Power and Relectrify deploy network-scale second-life EV battery system in NZ

Counties Power and Relectrify have joined forces to deploy New Zealand’s largest battery system.

Electricity distributor Counties Power and Australian battery technology company Relectrify have joined forces to deploy New Zealand’s largest battery system repurposing electric vehicle (EV) batteries to-date.

The battery system combines Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology with batteries from nine Nissan Leaf electric vehicles to store over 120kWh of energy. Alongside Counties Power and Relectrify, further international power utility and automotive collaborators are participating in this pilot in order to validate the technology for use in key overseas markets.

Already in operation in Counties Power’s utility testing lab providing 380-415V 3-phase peak-shaving, the battery system will be installed on a priority site on Counties Power’s network where it could provide redundancy, flexibility and resiliency for customers in a remote rural area. This highlights the value that cost-effective batteries can unlock to provide reliable, affordable power in isolated communities and power grids more broadly. Following on from prior installations, including a recent Chicago industrial storage solution, Counties Power’s battery system was installed remotely in close collaboration between Counties Power’s and Relectrify’s technology teams.

Counties Power General Manager Vivek Rajendran says “The potential of cost-effective sustainable storage solutions on electricity distribution networks is immense as EV uptake expands exponentially and so too does the supply of low-cost EV batteries for second-life applications. EV batteries with less than 80 percent of their original state of health are retired by manufacturers which presents an ideal opportunity for a second-life application such as network support”.

Relectrify’s technology unlocks a unique combination of strong performance and low price point with low environmental impact which aligns perfectly with Counties Power’s focus on enabling a smarter, sustainable and future-ready power network.

The battery system leverages Relectrify’s BMS+inverter technology, which was launched earlier this year. Alongside its capability to extend battery lifetime and reduce electronics cost for large battery packs with lithium-ion or alternative chemistries, Relectrify’s technology avoids the need for manual battery sorting to repurpose retired electric vehicle batteries at scale.

“It’s a pleasure to work together with Counties Power to deploy affordable battery storage,” said Relectrify Co-Founder and CEO Valentin Muenzel. “While already in significant use in commercial and industrial storage, this install further proves our technology’s suitability for utility storage. By increasing the lifetime and reducing the cost of both new and second-life batteries, Relectrify is leveraging our BMS+Inverter to collaborate with leading energy storage players worldwide.”