ACME signs exclusive storage deal with Samsung

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Indian company ACME Group has signed an agreement with Samsung SDI to produce lithium-ion batteries for use in applications including solar power systems, in India and Africa. 

The two companies signed the strategic alliance agreement to include manufacturing, sales and after-sales support for the batteries, which will also be utilised in ACME’s other business areas including telecommunications, defence and for residential and commercial buildings. The deal is exclusive, with ACME given sole rights to use Samsung SDI technology in India and the African continent. The Indian company aims to sell 110MWh of lithium ion batteries by the 2016 fiscal year.

ACME hopes that by making the deal with Samsung SDI the battery technology will replace diesel generators and inverters as well as helping utility companies to meet demand for electricity. ACME intends the batteries to be used in conjunction with the company’s energy storage systems (ESS) in some applications and claims that ESS will help make providers of green energy better able to respond to fluctuations in supply.

The signing of the agreement was announced by ACME Group’s clean energy subsidiary ACME Cleantech Solutions. The company said the global market share for lithium-ion technologies was growing quickly while markets for other battery chemistries including nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) and lead acid remained comparatively stagnant.

ACME quoted an estimate by Frost & Sullivan that lithium-ion held 62% of market share for consumer battery applications in 2012 with the lithium-ion industry worth around US$11.7 billion in that year. Frost & Sullivan estimates the value of the industry to double by 2016, with the rapid uptake of the technology in industrial use to outpace growth in the consumer sector.

EDF deal

In a separate deal, ACME has also formed a joint venture with EDF Energies Nouvelle and EREN to develop large-scale solar power projects in India. ACME has sold the French companies a 25% stake each in the newly formed ACME Solar Energy Private Limited (ACME Solar). ACME Cleantech, which will hold the remaining 50% stake, currently has a solar generation capacity of 17.5MW. The venture marks EDF Energies Nouvelle’s first foray into the Indian market. EREN is a renewable energy developer with experience of solar projects in France, Greece, Italy and Israel.

The initial aim of the joint venture is to develop 200MW of solar power generation capacity across various projects. ACME Solar is currently working on developing 50MW across two projects in India, both 25MW, one in Odisha and one in Madhya Pradesh. India currently has around 2GW of PV generation capacity and the nation has a target of reaching 22GW by 2022.

As part of the joint venture agreement, ACME Solar will be given access to EDF Energy Nouvelle’s facilities and technologies. This will include a research and development facility in France where ACME Solar and EDF will collaborate on research with a view to lower costs.

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