Axion Power Awarded Government Grant to Help Develop, Deploy PowerCube Battery Energy Storage System for Smart Grid Technology

December 29, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Axion Power International, Inc., the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC® batteries, announced that it had been awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. The grant will be used to assist in the development and deployment of an Axion PowerCube™ battery energy storage system using the company’s proprietary PbC battery technology. The 500 kW PowerCube will be built and installed at Axion’s New Castle battery manufacturing facility and will be designed to enhance a Smart Grid electrical distribution system, including a future solar-powered electric vehicle charging station and a potential wind-powered energy system.

The $248,650 grant is part of $1.5 million in Pennsylvania state grant aid that is dedicated to "innovative green energy projects" announced recently by Gov. Edward G. Rendell.

Axion Power CEO Thomas Granville said the state grant reaffirms the environmental attributes and energy storage potential of the company’s proprietary PbC battery technology, which forms the basis of the PowerCube.

"Our PbC battery technology can enhance energy storage capabilities within a viable Smart Grid electrical distribution system," Granville said. "This award gives us a chance to demonstrate the considerable promise of our PbC batteries as an enabling technology for a Smart Grid deployment. Our PbC battery will be used for power quality, peak demand reduction and as part of an electric car charging application. We look forward to working with our partners in demonstrating the effectiveness of our product."

The grant funds will be used to purchase a power conditioning system for the PowerCube from Eaton Corp. as well as other ancillary design and installation costs. The PowerCube can be configured with an Envision Solar CleanCharge™ solar powered electric vehicle charging station and designed to also allow future integration of a wind turbine system. Axion has an established business relationship with Envision Solar, a company that has deployed solar energy generating systems at UC San Diego, several McDonald’s franchises and other high-profile commercial sites around the country.

"A key attribute of the PowerCube is its ability to couple energy storage with solar and wind systems as an integral component of a Smart Grid, which should help increase the reach and market penetration of renewable energy," Granville added. "The PowerCube has been designed to capture the intermittent power generated by renewable energy producers like solar and wind, and to recover rapidly after an outage event. Last week’s completion of a $26M financing round for Axion will allow us to build additional carbon electrode production capacity to better serve, and more competitively serve, these emerging energy storage markets."