Mark Johnson of the Department of Energy's ARPA-E agency program commented at a conference that the grid is the â€˜world's largest supply chain without a warehouseâ€™ - a simple statement with resounding implications,â€� wrote Radvak, in his blog post titled, "Planetâ€™s Align to Nurture Grid Storage"Â for The Huffington Post.
Photo: American Vanadium CEO Bill Radvak (source: Bloomberg via YouTube)
Catalyst for clean energy: American Vanadiumâ€™s Gibellini Project
President and CEO Bill Radvak shows the highly fractured rock containing vanadium during a March 2012 site visit of the Gibellini project."The deposit is at surface with a remarkably low strip ratio of 0.2 and the host rock is heavily fractured with a very clean shale," explains Radvak.
Not only is the site's unique geology expected to result in the production of high purity vanadium, but the mine is "being designed to be powered with wind and solar energy along with a vanadium flow battery to demonstrate the viability of microgrids using vanadium energy storage technologies in remote and integrated locations," says Bill Radvak, president and CEO of American Vanadium Corp.
"The deposit is at surface with a remarkably low strip ratio of 0.2 and the host rock is heavily fractured with a very clean shale," explains Radvak.
"Our deposit has been heavily oxidized, which means the heavy metals customary to many deposits that result in ongoing issues such as acid mine drainage are not present in any significant concentration.
As they plan to use a heap leach operation there will be no tailing pond and the project will use a fraction of the power and water of a typical mine he says.
Radvak says vanadium heap leaching will enable production of two different vanadium pentoxides-one for the steel industry and one in sulfuric acid solution ready for VFB electrolyte.
The latter can be pulled directly from the heap leaching process.
It will be a rare convenience: "At any given point, we can go to 100% electrolyte production or 100% vanadium pentoxide production," says Radvak.
The mine's unique green blend of wind and solar energy power backed with a VFB will be a first, and promises to set a precedent in becoming the greenest mine in America.
It could demonstrate the viability of remote microgrids using vanadium energy storage technologies, which would have far-reaching positive environmental impacts.
"Our plan is to ultimately reduce permitting concerns in air quality issues, fuel storage and transportation, electrical line, substation and grid upgrades etc," explains Radvak.
And another green bonus: vanadium works so well as a steel strengthener that it reduces the amount of steel required in construction by up to 30%, meaning 30% less iron ore is needed, power consumption goes down, and the pollution related to smelting steel is decreased, he adds.
The operation has potential to grow into the future.
American Vanadium has a land package of approximately 4,250 acres surrounding the Gibellini Project where they currently survey for look-alike deposits.
Included in the company's NI 43-101 is 7.7 million tons of ore containing 42 million pounds of vanadium pentoxide.
But currently the focus is putting in place the joint ventures and associated relationships to build the grid scale battery manufacturing business in North America says Radvak.
Moreover, "the Gibellini is the seed for a new industry in utility scale, remote and integrated renewable power systems; and cultivating that seed is both a challenge and a major opportunity," he says.
American Vanadium Announces Director Nominees for Annual General and Special Meeting
NASCENT MARKET:American Vanadium president and CEO Bill Radvak said that the company had come a long way from focusing on being a vanadium pure-play, to change tack and embrace the much larger idea of becoming a fully integrated renewable-energy storage system provider.Radvak remembers that when he first took over the reins of the company about four years ago, his first investor presentations included only two slides pertaining to the future potential demand driver of vanadium flow batteries and the then nascent grid power storage market.
However, things started changing about three years ago, more or less at the same time the finance window closed.
Radvak, who has a background in the biotech industry, said that with the downturn in the global market and sagging prices for vanadium, the company started exploring ways to add value to their vanadium before selling it and stumbled upon the vanadium flow market.
The market for grid energy storage solutions is slowly developing.
Radvak said that during the early years of renewable-energy market development, the 'Holy Grail', which is energy storage, was overlooked.
Radvak said California had mandated three utilities to put 1.3 GWh of storage capacity in place over the next ten years, while Long Island, New York, had put out a request for proposals (RFP) for 130 GWh and Ontario, in Canada, had put out a RFP for 130 GWh of storage capacity.
PHASED APPROACH :
American Vanadium last year became the master sales agent in North America for the CellCube systems, which are manufactured by Gildemeister, in Germany.
Radvak said that American Vanadium was now ideally positioned to take advantage of this burgeoning market, having strategically partnered with an original-equipment manufacturer, which had already installed 65 redox-flow grid storage systems in Europe.
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