(Repeats June 7 story with no changes)
* Renault plans 100 megawatt storage facility - sources
* Could be based on used car batteries or new ones - sources
* Renault working with storage specialist The Mobility House
By Christoph Steitz and Edward Taylor
FRANKFURT, June 7 Renault-Nissan
is drawing up plans to build a 100 megawatt power
storage plant in Europe, sources told Reuters, hoping to give
electric car batteries a second life in a project that could
eventually compete with utility companies.
Like rival Tesla's energy storage business, the
Renault-Nissan move underscores its desire to cultivate a
second-hand battery market while encouraging the development of
energy infrastructure that works for electric cars.
The Renault-Nissan alliance plant, which has yet to be
built, would be big enough to power 120,000 homes, or supplant
the role of a gas- or coal-fired power station in meeting peak
electricity demand on the grid, the sources said.
Rather than generating power, a storage plant charges up in
times of excess supply and sells electricity back to the grid
when needed. Proponents say such plants can play a key role in
smoothing out unpredictable wind and solar power generation.
Renault-Nissan is working in partnership with energy storage
specialist The Mobility House on the mega battery which would be
assembled from new or used electric car batteries, one of the
"We're working with The Mobility House on several programmes
including a major energy storage project that is currently still
in the study phase," Renault spokeswoman Celine Farissier said,
declining to give further details.
Makers of electric cars stand to benefit from the creation
of a market for used lithium-ion batteries that can no longer
power vehicles to drive far enough. Higher second-hand battery
values could help bring down the cost of electric cars and mega
batteries are one avenue for recycling the power cells.
Nissan, 44 percent-owned by French alliance partner Renault,
has already built a back-up power storage system for the
Amsterdam Arena, which is home to soccer club Ajax, in a first
partnership with the German start-up.
Marcus Fendt, its managing director, said the Munich-based
company was working on a 100 MW plant with partners he declined
to identify, citing confidentiality agreements. He said the
studies were aimed at determining where to build the plant.
Locations and end markets under consideration for the
Renault-Nissan plant include Germany, which is suitable because
of its high energy prices and its shift from nuclear to
renewable energy, as well as the Netherlands, sources said.
Renault-Nissan studied an existing power storage project in
the United States before embarking on its own plan to recycle
electric car batteries.
California's Public Utilities commission selected a 100 MW
battery storage system to replace a natural-gas power plant
providing electricity for Southern California Edison
in the Los Angeles area.
Large batteries can help stabilise the primary reserve
electricity market, which is responsible for ensuring the grid
has at least 50 Hertz. Carmakers can also earn money competing
with conventional power stations to guarantee the provision of
electricity during periods of high demand or volatility.
"We forecast the combined market for electric passenger
vehicles, electric buses and battery storage to increase
eight-fold to over $200 billion by 2020, a five-year compound
annual growth rate of more than 50 percent," Berenberg analysts
With about 4 million electric cars expected to be on the
roads by 2020, vehicle manufacturers looking at ways to recycle
batteries, including Tesla, which already sells everything from
solar panels to batteries and electric cars.
Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen
and China's BYD Co Ltd are also exploring
so-called second-life storage projects with batteries.
That includes partnerships such as the recent collaboration
between BMW and Vattenfall, in which the luxury
automaker will deliver up to 1,000 lithium-ion batteries to the
Swedish utility for storage projects this year.
"What will end up happening is that BMW and Daimler will ...
become utilities themselves," said Gerard Reid, founder of Alexa
Capital LLP, a corporate advisor in the energy, power
infrastructure and technology sectors.
"They use Vattenfall now because they need to learn but I
think the amount of batteries coming back will be so big that I
think they'll end up engaging directly with the end customer
themselves. And they've got the brand name to do that."
(Additional reporting by Laurence Frost in Paris; editing by