Austrian bids for bankrupt US saltwater battery maker | www.bestmag.co.uk

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Austria’s BlueSky Energy has made a stalking horse bid of $2.8 million for the assets of US bankrupt battery maker Aquion Energy, Green Tech Media reports.

If another company puts in a bid, there will be an auction prior to the sale hearing that’s scheduled for 21 June.

BlueSky has been working with Aquion for years and CEO Helmut Mayer is said to be a fan of Aquion’s sodium-ion technology, which is commonly called a saltwater battery.

The saltwater battery is designed for residential installations as well as small and medium-sized companies. Aquion had claimed its batteries could deliver a round-trip efficiency of 85% and perform 5,000 cycles. 

Aquion filed for bankruptcy in March this year, just weeks after Global Cleantech handed it a North American Company of the Year Award.

Scott Pearson, Aquion’s outgoing CEO, and Suzanne Roski, the company’s chief restructuring officer, said in a joint statement: “Creating a new electrochemistry and an associated battery platform at commercial scale is extremely complex, time-consuming, and very capital intensive.

“Despite our best efforts to fund the company and continue to fuel our growth, the company has been unable to raise the growth capital needed to continue operating as a going concern.”

David Snydacker, a battery expert at Dosima Research, said in an interview with Green Tech Media: “Aquion’s size/weight per kilowatt-hour was approximately 15 times greater than lithium-ion. Like other competitors to lithium-ion, Aquion tried to emphasize that size/weight doesn’t matter for grid storage. But all that extra material has an associated cost. The bankruptcy was probably foretold by the bill of materials."

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