Redflow to supply remote telecommunication sites in New Zealand

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Brisbane-based battery supplier Redflow has been chosen to supply its zinc-bromine flow battery solution for an off-grid telecommunication project by the New Zealand Rural Connectivity Group (RCG). With the final supply deal still in the works, it is anticipated that the first site will be installed by the year’s end.

Established by the New Zealand Government in 2017 as an independent entity, the RCG plans to build over 400 new cell sites in rural locations to extend mobile and wireless broadband coverage to more than 34,000 rural homes and businesses, provide mobile coverage to a further 1000 kilometres of state highways and provide connectivity to more than 100 top New Zealand tourist destinations by December 2022.

The new cell sites will be a combination of both off-grid and on-grid locations. The off-grid cell sites will meet their energy needs through a combination of PV solar panels, Redflow batteries and a backup generator. This infrastructure project is funded by the Government’s Telecommunications Development Levy and an extra $75 million from the three mobile network operators, Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees.

“We have closely examined Redflow’s energy storage technology and believe it provides a compelling solution for RCG due to its deep cycling capability, its long life and its environmental benefits over competing technologies,” said RCG Head of Procurement and Commercial, Richard Spencer.

For Redflow, the new deal represents evidence of further progress in targeting the telecommunications sector and the environmental and performance benefits of its battery technology. “We have been working with the RCG over the past six months and are delighted that we have been selected for this important deployment,” Redflow CEO Tim Harris said.

“This adds to the success of our recent deployments with Optus in the Daintree rainforest in Queensland, our current system powering an off-grid site for Vodafone New Zealand in the Thames Coromandel area and our recent order for one of South Africa’s largest telecommunication companies. We look forward to negotiating the supply arrangements with RCG and finalising the detailed financial elements of the relationship.”

In its other oversea projects, Redflow was contracted to supply its zinc-bromine flow battery solution for a smart grid project sponsored by China’s National Energy Bureau. It has also secured a preferred supplier status with New Zealand-headquartered Soul Energy to provide batteries for the first of a number of expected infrastructure projects throughout Australasia.

Furthermore, it supplied $1.6 million worth of its 10 kWh ZBM2 batteries to Fiji to power a new local digital television network. The systems were shipped from its Thai facility and installed by New Zeland’s Hitech Solutions. It also deployed 10 of its zinc-bromine flow batteries coupled with three li-ion batteries to store solar-generated power in a far-flung village in northern Thailand.

Marketed as ZCell and ZBM2, Redflow 10 kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries are designed for high cycle-rate, long time-base stationary energy storage applications in the residential, commercial & industrial and telecommunications sectors, and are scalable from a single battery installation through to grid-scale deployments.

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