BYD has just opened a gigawatt-scale lithium battery factory in Qinghai Province, a few days after a senior company representative told that, like electric vehicles (EVs), it is only a matter of time before lithium batteries for stationary storage reach mainstream acceptance.

Server hallway in the sky

The Chinese battery, energy storage system and electric vehicle manufacturer, which describes itself as a “new energy company” in press materials, is aiming to reach 60GWh annual production of batteries by 2020. The newest factory, in the Western Chinese province, is a 24GWh facility, expected to be completed during 2019. It is the company’s third factory in China. It was not clear from BYD releases how much of the new factory’s capacity if any will be utilised for stationary energy storage, however has requested this information.

At Intersolar Europe / ees Europe in Munich, Germany a couple of weeks ago, BYD senior sales director Julia Chen explained that the company uses different battery chemistries for EVs than it does for stationary storage systems. Lithium iron phosphate (LFp, LiFePo4) are used in stationary storage for grid, renewables and other applications, while NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) batteries power the company’s EVs.

“For [stationary] storage we have a preference for LFp in terms of safety behaviour. This ‘safety behaviour’ is also an advantage from a cost point of view,” Chen said.

Read more: Energy Storage News