Energy storage – using recycled batteries for port charging stations

Stena is working on a project, part-financed by the European Union, to investigate how used batteries from the transport sector can be reused for energy storage in ports.

The company highlights that the development of a new type of energy storage, similar to very large powerbanks, ‘will be essential for the quick charging of electric ferries in the future’.

Batteryloop is a subsidiary of the Stena Recycling Group, which focuses on electrification, including the recycling of used batteries from the automotive sector. It recently signed an agreement with Volvo Buses for the reuse of batteries from its electric vehicles.

Batteryloop MD Rasmus Bergström commented on the reused battery concept: ‘New solutions are being designed to meet the charging requirements of the transport sector of the future, especially for shipping where vessels are starting to switch to electric power.

‘Rapidly charging a large ferry, for example, requires a huge amount of energy in a short time and it’s not certain that the electricity grid will be able to deliver it. Local energy stores at ports could offer a great solution to this problem.’

He continued: ‘In order to conserve natural resources and make battery recycling sustainable, we need to do everything we can to use batteries for as long as possible.

‘Our conclusion is that many batteries can have a second life as energy storage. If we can find solutions that will scale-up and work in ports, we’ll have a win-win situation in many ways.’

The two-year project, which will evaluate opportunities to reuse lithium-ion batteries from the transport and automotive industry for energy storage in ports, involves collaboration with several Stena companies – Batteryloop, Stena Recycling, Stena Rederi and Stena Line – as well as the ports of Gothenburg and Kiel and class society DNV GL.  The initiative will be part-financed by INEA, the EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.

‘This is an important milestone in the electrification of shipping, ‘ said Per Wimby, project manager for electrification at Stena Teknik.

‘Our future project, Stena Elektra – a fully electric ferry – is already on the drawing board. In order to succeed, we need to solve the issue of how to quickly charge a ferry.

‘Energy storage at ports using recycled batteries, is a very interesting and sustainable alternative for the future.’

Quayside energy storage could also be used as an alternative power source for vessels at berth.

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes