ARKANSAS, Dec 05 (Future Headlines)- AGL, an Australian energy company, and SLB, a U.S.-based energy technology firm, have inked a memorandum of understanding to launch a groundbreaking two-year pilot program for a nickel-hydrogen battery at AGL’s Torrens Island site in Adelaide.

This initiative, slated to commence in 2025, aims to evaluate the operational performance of the 180 kW/360 kWh nickel-hydrogen battery, representing a potential alternative to lithium-ion solutions. Nickel-hydrogen batteries, while not new and historically used in aerospace, have faced challenges in grid-scale applications due to the cost of platinum catalysts.

However, California-based startup EnerVenue has recently achieved a breakthrough by substituting platinum with an affordable nickel-molybdenum-cobalt alloy catalyst, potentially making the technology viable for large-scale energy storage.

The Torrens Island pilot, the first deployment of its kind in Australia, will help de-risk the technology, and if successful, AGL may explore the development of a grid-scale project using nickel-hydrogen batteries. The move aligns with AGL’s broader ambition to add up to 5.9 GW of firming capacity to its portfolio by 2035, part of its efforts to transition the business over the next decade.

Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White