Sparton Resources, through majority controlled subsidiary VanSpar Mining, has executed a contract to fund commissioning of one of the world’s largest vanadium redox flow batteries in Hebei Province, China, about 60km north of Beijing, where it was recently installed for China’s State Grid Company.

With capacity of 2MW of power and 8 megawatt hours of energy, the unit was pre-tested prior to installation, and features 10 units each of 200KW power. It is integrated with large solar and wind power installations at State Grid’s Zhangbei SGCC1 clean energy demonstration project.

Located in proximity to the site of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, it is expected that this battery and the overall project will be highlighted as a green energy initiative in the area.

A battery of this capacity could support approximately 400 modest domestic households, each consuming approximately 20 kilowatt hour of electricity, or an industrial plant or service facility, such as a hospital or school, with similar electricity requirements.

The commissioning program is the first of a series of transactions being planned by Sparton which could result in it becoming a participant in the manufacturing and sales of large scale vanadium flow batteries and, with vertical integration, the mining, processing and marketing of vanadium products. It is planned to integrate the batteries with green energy power installations (solar and wind) to provide one-stop-shopping solutions for efficient clean electricity production and distribution.

A convertible debenture financing of up to US$650,000 is being proposed for VanSpar to fund the SGCC1 battery commissioning. A series of payments from State Grid will be forthcoming once the commissioning is successfully completed and accepted and will continue over the next three years.

A team of experienced technicians, led by the engineers who previously installed the battery, are on site and the commissioning work is under way. It is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Sparton’s president Lee Barker says, “This opportunity presented itself during our review of the prospective acquisition of an advanced technology company specializing in manufacturing vanadium based flow batteries. Our interest in vanadium and new applications for vanadium products goes back several years.

“We believe that vanadium flow batteries provide the best current solution to storing clean energy produced by wind and solar systems and that the combination of clean electricity production and storage is an ideal solution for remote areas.

“These types of integrated systems can service various industrial and domestic applications including mines, schools, and communications terminals. They can also be used as back-up power systems for military installations, hospitals and public utility and transportation control systems in metropolitan centres.

“At the present time, vanadium flow batteries offer the best commercially viable solution for large scale electricity storage. They are cost competitive, long life, (+20 years, +100,000 cycles) safe, not prone to overheating, and are fully recyclable.”

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