Connected Energy, the British firm also based in the North East and world leader in energy storage systems using second-life batteries, welcomes the news of the Nissan battery plant.

“With the announcement of this new battery plant for Nissan in Sunderland we can say with confidence that the North East is now a powerhouse for the green energy revolution,” CEO Matthew Lumsden said on 1 July 2021.

He continued, “While this is obviously good news for the automotive industry, we are looking much further down the road than cars. We see these batteries as the means to transform our energy system and the North East becoming a centre for excellence and expertise in every aspect of the electric battery circular economy.”

Electric vehicle batteries will still have significant value after they have finished their life in vehicles. At this stage, they are ready to go on to be used in stationary energy storage systems. Connected Energy has developed the system, called E STOR, which enables thousands of batteries, with varying levels of degradation, to be aggregated, controlled and reused as one stationary energy storage system.  The technology has been installed in the UK, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

These systems will form part of the new distributed energy network that will allow renewable energy to be stored and used to balance the grid, reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources including nuclear, oil, coal and gas.

“What we have learned in the 21st century is that you have to develop the whole supply chain including the recycling to make both economic and environmental sense of a manufacturing process.  This is especially true of electric batteries with their rare metals, and the Nissan battery plant should add to our ability to pioneer the circular economy in this area. Together with the British Volt plant being built in nearby Blyth, there is an opportunity to build long-term partnerships where we work together to ensure the sustainability of the electric battery supply chain.”

“We have a business and academic excellence, good sea and land links and a great workforce in the North East.  The Nissan battery plant should be a catalyst to attract even more specialist skills and services to the region. For an area which was once synonymous with coal, I hope in a hundred years from now people will talk about ‘taking batteries to Newcastle’,” Matthew concluded.

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