Bushveld Energy is a leading energy storage solutions provider, exclusively focused on vanadium based energy storage systems called VRFB.
Bushveld Energy’s business model focuses on five types of revenue-generating activities in the mid- and downstream segments of the vanadium value chain. These activities have comparatively low capital requirements compared with the mining business. These five activities broadly are:
1. Electrolyte manufacturing, which includes: – designing a conversion process for vanadium feedstock from Vametco’s existing mining and processing operations; – building and operating a chemicals plant to purify vanadium feedstock and mix it into a liquid vanadium electrolyte product; and – marketing the electrolyte to VRFB companies or direct users/buyers of VRFB systems;
2. Renting (or leasing) vanadium electrolyte, a new product under development. Whereas historically VRFBs have been purchased with the vanadium electrolyte, rental/ leasing would allow Bushveld Energy, or a special purpose company, to retain ownership of electrolyte and rent it to the VRFB users or buyers. VRFB technology is unique because of the non-degradation of the electrolyte chemistry and the relative ease of extracting vanadium from the electrolyte at the end of the VRFB’s operating life. In addition to smoothing vanadium price peaks, electrolyte rental permits a long-term pricing model that reduces the upfront capital cost of a VRFB to make it one of the most commercially competitive energy storage technologies available;
3. Assembly of VRFBs through an investment in the construction of an assembly plant for a VRFB product. Unlike other battery technologies, VRFB assembly does not require the same production scale to achieve competitive economics. This makes regional assembly of domestic and imported sub-components extremely attractive to reduce manufacturing costs and supply times. Such an activity may involve direct investment into a VRFB company or companies that would own the facility, as well as the technology;
4. Direct selling of VRFBs in African markets as a value-adding local distributor. In addition to identifying opportunities suitable for VRFB energy storage, this activity includes developing local logistics chains covering importation, transport, installation and maintenance of the VRFBs and key components. As electricity markets are heavily regulated, significant activity in this business would require engagement with public and private stakeholders to create an environment that identifies and values the full range of benefits in long-duration energy storage offered by VRFB technology; and
5. Developing and investing in African energy storage projects, an activity that starts with identifying suitable sites and extends to defining the economic business case for VRFB installations. It includes designing the technical and commercial structure of projects that use VRFBs and making direct equity investment into such projects. By creating bankable energy storage projects, either standalone or combined with generation sources such as solar and wind, Bushveld Energy can accelerate the transition to clean energy in Africa while increasing access to quality electricity delivery through distributed mini-grids.
Implementation of these five activities will continue to follow the principles of strategic relationships. Relevant external parties include development agencies, funders, renewable energy developers and energy storage component providers.