Smart energy trial re-uses Renault EV batteries for home energy storage

A new partnership announced last week will cut the cost of home energy storage units by 30%, making them a more viable option for homeowners with solar panels.

The agreement brings together home battery systems provider Powervault and car maker Renault to give electric vehicle (EV) batteries a “second life”.

The batteries used in electric vehicles usually have a lifetime of 8-10 years but, as Renault explains, there is still plenty of useful life in these batteries for stationary applications. As a result, they can be re-used before they are recycled.

Home energy storage systems enable homeowners to store and use the solar energy freely generated from their own solar panels. The Powervault units can also automatically charge using low-cost, off-peak energy from the grid.

In a trial project, Powervault is placing 50 units, powered by second-life batteries provided by Renault, in the homes of customers who already have solar panels installed. The trial aims to explore the technical performance of the batteries, as well as customer reaction to home energy storage, to help develop a strategy for rolling out the technology on a bigger scale.

The trial will be run with eligible customers of M&S Energy, as well as social housing tenants and schools in South East England.

Nicolas Schottey, Programme Director for EV batteries and infrastructures at Renault, said: “Thanks to this home energy storage partnership with Powervault, Renault is adding a new element into its global strategy for second-life batteries, which already covers a large number of usages from industrial to residential building and districts. The second-life use not only gives additional life to electric vehicle batteries before they are recycled, but also allow consumers to save money. It’s a win-win-win: for EV owners, homeowners and the planet.”

 

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