Electric adventure vehicle maker Rivian announce a project to use its second-life batteries in a solar microgrid initiative with the Honnold Foundation. The goal: to support energy independence and adoption of renewable power generation. The project, in the town of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, marks Rivian’s first steps in its broad plan to utilize second-life batteries for a wide variety of applications.
The company is using 135kWh battery packs from its development vehicles to support the project.
Rivian has designed its pack, module, and battery management system to seamlessly transition from vehicle energy storage to stationary energy storage at the end of their vehicle life. The battery module’s thin design enables second-life applications that are space-efficient and customizable, important for environments with existing infrastructure.
“Second-life batteries are a big enabler to accelerating widespread adoption of renewable energy, and it’s exciting to envision this system contributing importantly to a community. This project allows us to model a customized energy storage solution that takes into account space constraints, disaster resiliency and energy independence,” said Scaringe.
Adjuntas is a city of 20,000 in midwestern Puerto Rico. It was severely impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and with climate change increasing the frequency and severity of storms, Adjuntas NGO Casa Pueblo has sought to collaborate on rugged, affordable sources of community power.
The Honnold Foundation and Rivian battery engineers visited Casa Pueblo earlier in 2019 to meet with community leaders and together are designing a site-specific system that will power many of the businesses located in the Adjuntas town square. In power loss scenarios, the downtown solar microgrid will allow Adjuntas residents access to electricity for core businesses. By offsetting day-to-day electric bills, the system also brings down high commercial energy costs, which in Puerto Rico are twice the national average.
The system is expected to launch in 2020.
Rivian is developing vehicles, technology and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world. With a team of more than 1,000 people, Rivian has development centers in Plymouth, Mich.; San Jose, Calif.; Irvine, Calif; and Surrey, England; along with a 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill. Rivian will launch the R1T and R1S in the US in late 2020, with introduction to other global geographies starting in 2021. Rivian is now accepting preorders for its R1T and R1S.
The Honnold Foundation envisions a world where all people have equal access to opportunity and live in balance with the environment. To make this mission statement a reality, the foundation funds solar power initiatives that are helping to tackle global energy inequality through environmentally sound means.
Casa Pueblo is a non-profit environmental watchdog community-based organization that promotes, through voluntary participation of individuals and groups, protection of the environment. Its mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places in Puerto Rico; to practice and promote the responsible use of the land’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist others to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.