Daily News Wrap-Up: LG and Honda to Produce EV Batteries in the US

DOE announces $540 million for technologies to transform energy production and cut emissions


Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:

LG Energy Solution and Honda announced they would establish a joint venture to produce lithium-ion batteries in the U.S. to power Honda and Acura EV models for the North American market.  LGES and Honda will invest $4.4 billion in the plant. The plant aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40 GWh. The pouch-type batteries produced at the plant will be supplied exclusively to Honda facilities in North America. While the plant location is yet to be finalized, based on Honda’s plans for EV production in North America, the two companies aim to begin construction in early 2023 to enable the mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $540 million in awards for university and National Laboratory-led research into clean energy technologies and low-carbon manufacturing. The awardees include researchers at 54 universities and 11 national laboratories across 34 states and the District of Columbia. More than $400 million will go toward establishing and continuing 43 Energy Frontier Research Centers, which bring together multi-disciplinary scientific teams to tackle the toughest scientific challenges preventing advances in energy technologies. The projects, led by 28 universities and nine national laboratories with more than 75 additional partner institutions, will study everything from energy storage to quantum information science.  In addition, 53 projects led by researchers at 33 universities and 11 national laboratories will receive a combined $140 million through the Chemical and Materials Sciences to Advance Clean Energy Technologies and Low-Carbon Manufacturing funding opportunity.

Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), through its Smart Meter National Program, has installed over 2.8 million smart meters across Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, and Telangana. The company recently successfully installed over a million smart prepaid meters in Bihar. The company had signed an agreement with South Bihar Power Distribution Company and North Bihar Power Distribution Company to install 23.4 lakh smart prepaid meters in Bihar earlier last year and is expecting to complete the project by February 2023. With the installation of 10 million smart prepaid meters, DISCOMs in Bihar have generated a daily revenue collection of over ₹30 million (~$375,486). The total revenue collected from smart meters in Bihar has crossed ₹10 billion (~$125.15 million).

Independent power company Globeleq will develop, finance, build, own and operate a large-scale green hydrogen project in Egypt. It will be developed in 3 phases, totaling 3.6 GW of electrolyzers and around 9 GW of solar PV and wind power generation.  The first phase will involve a pilot project using a 100 MW electrolyzer. It will initially focus on green ammonia fertilizers while considering other end-uses of green hydrogen in the medium and longer term, including green fuels.  Globeleq intends to enter into long-term off-take agreements with Egyptian and international companies to support their decarbonization plans. To this effect, Globeleq signed a memorandum of understanding with multiple agencies to jointly develop a large-scale green hydrogen facility within the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Iberdrola is set to commission 1.4 GW of new solar capacity addition in Spain. The company is currently executing 12 photovoltaic projects, with a combined installed capacity of 550 MW. Half of them are located in Extremadura, where Iberdrola is building the Almaraz I and II projects (80 MW), which will be connected to the grid this year, and the Tagus complex in Alcántara, comprising four projects with a total capacity of 200 MW. The company is also building six other facilities in Castilla y León and Andalusia using this technology, totaling 271 MW. These are the Villarino project (50 MW) in Salamanca; the Guillena project (144 MW) in Seville; Cespedera (27 MW) in Cadiz; and Virgen de Aremos III (50 MW) in Palencia. Iberdrola plans to start construction this year on another six projects that will provide 873 MW of new solar power in four autonomous communities— Ciudad Rodrigo (318 MW) in Salamanca; Fuentes (50 MW), Valbuena (50 MW) and Manantiales (30 MW) in Guadalajara; Peñarrubia (50 MW) in Murcia; and Cedillo (375 MW) in Cáceres.

NextEnergy Capital announced the first close for NextPower UK ESG at £327 million (~$383 million), which is over 65% of NPUK ESG’s target of £500 million (~$586 million). The fund has a hard cap of £1 billion (~$1.17 billion). The commitments in this first close have been made from investors in the UK and the Middle East, including the UK Infrastructure Bank, LGPS Central Limited, Merseyside Pension Fund, and Brunel Pension Partnership. The UKIB is the cornerstone investor for the fund and plans to invest up to £250 million (~$293 million) on a match funding basis. The fund targets the UK and international institutional investors, with further investors currently in due diligence, and the fundraising period is two years from the first close. The fund targets highly attractive investor returns by creating long-term stable cashflows through a contracted revenue model with robust, credit-worthy power purchase agreements.