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Sodium-sulfur battery a clean energy milestone


Researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have deployed Australia’s first large-scale sodium-sulfur (NaS) battery at IGO’s Nova mine in WA.

The Nova project is a nickel-copper-cobalt mine south-east of Kalgoorlie. IGO has been investigating ways to expand its Nova solar farm and battery storage with the goal of enabling Nova to significantly reduce emissions.

The NaS battery now installed at the site is suitable for large-scale energy storage applications of six hours or more and can function in extreme heat. The battery has been in operation since mid-February and took only 15 days to install.

“Deploying and testing the first NaS battery in Australia is a significant milestone with the potential to enable further uptake of these systems domestically,” National Battery Testing Centre QUT project lead, Dr Joshua Watts, said.

“The NaS battery energy storage system has the potential to play an important role in Australia’s clean energy transition…”

With this latest upgrade to its Nova project, IGO is making strides in lowering its emissions.

Just this week, IGO also secured land in Kwinana from the Western Australian Government for an integrated battery material (IBM) facility.

Located in Perth, WA, the IBM project aims to integrate a downstream nickel refinery with a plant producing high-value nickel dominant precursor cathode active material (PCAM) for the battery supply chain.

IGO acting chief executive officer Matt Dusci said Australia is playing an important role in the global supply of critical minerals.

“We strongly believe that by bringing the right partners together, we will deliver a fully optimised nickel supply chain delivering low-cost, low-carbon, responsibly produced battery chemicals for the global battery and electric vehicle industry, to be delivered through an integrated battery material facility here in Western Australia,” he said.

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