Technology Metals Australia (ASX: TMT), a West Australian Vanadium explorer, has received a grant of almost $2.77 million from the Australian Federal Government’s Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive Scheme for the 2018/2019 tax year.
TMT’s central R&D focus is a project called the Gabanintha Vanadium Project (GVP) which seeks to develop a processing technique to produce high purity vanadium pentoxide. High purity vanadium pentoxide is perfectly suited to the vanadium redox flow batteries that are assuming a firm position as an energy storage solution.
“We are very proud to be progressing R&D activities at the GVP that will enable the production of high purity vanadium pentoxide in Australia,” said TMT Managing Director Ian Prentice, “this will provide the opportunity to support an Australian based VRFB industry and make a significant contribution to the efficient and effective deployment of renewable energy in Australia.”
TMT believes vanadium and its energy storage potential is a key long-term strategic development opportunity for Australia. The mineral’s ability to time-shift large amounts of previously generated energy for later use, ideally suited to micro-grid and large scale energy solutions which can provide the kind of grid stabilisation Australia sorely needs, is at the centre of vanadium’s wheelhouse. Hence why the market is beginning to take off.
The Australian Government seems to agree with TMT, and not only to the extent of this R&D grant.
Beginning with the Government’s inclusion of vanadium on its list of critical minerals, it has continued to invest in the mineral’s potential. Last month the Government gave ‘major project status’ to Perth-based Australian Vanadium’s project in the Murchison province.
In May Canadian company CellCube Energy Storage Systems and Pangea Energy signalled their intent to install a 50 MW/200 MWh long-duration vanadium flow battery in Port Augusta, South Australia. However, little has been heard about the project since.
With businesses beginning to utilise vanadium redox flow batteries, such as a Victorian apple orchard looking to expand its PV fleet, and advancing technology at Australian universities such as Monash, vanadium batteries as a significant energy storage system for the energy transition is growing toward a position of respectability.
According to TMT the GVP will be the largest single primary vanadium producer in the world.