Vancouver-based Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. has confirmed plans to build its first commercial manufacturing plant—not in Canada, but in the United States, motivated by production credits under the Biden administration’s newly-adopted climate action plan.
“The company chose Ulster County in Upstate New York after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) personally called the CEO of Zinc8, Ron MacDonald, to urge the company to expand their operations in New York state and particularly to Ulster County,” PV Magazine reports.
The Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit introduced through the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will deliver a US$35 tax credit for each battery cell the plant produces through 2029, along with a pool of funding to build clean energy technology factories.
The possibility of a New York State location for the Zinc8 plant emerged in a July, 2022 market analysis that also said the company had issued 20 U.S. patents for its technology, with four more pending.
Since at least 2019, Zinc8 has been working on what it hopes will be a new, low-cost design for a long-duration, zinc-air battery to replace today’s generation of lithium-ion cells for utilities, microgrids, and stand-alone commercial and industrial projects. PV Magazine says the company’s products can deliver between 20 kilowatts and 50 megawatts of storage for periods of four to 100 hours.
“Unlike lithium-ion technology, which requires new stacks to scale, Zinc8 says it has completely decoupled the linkage between energy and power,” the news story explains. “Scalability and higher capacity is achieved with an increase in the size of storage tanks that hold zinc particles.”
Almost a year ago, Zinc8 moved into a new facility in Richmond, B.C., in what Cantech Letter called “a significant step forward” for the company.
“These are exciting times as we are actively transitioning the company from research and development into pre-commercialization,” MacDonald said in a release. “It is understood that developing a new and potentially revolutionary technology requires years of commitment,” he added, but credited years of work with advancing the technology “to the point where we can now present a working product for certification on our path towards commercialization.”