In 2017, Elon Musk made the bold claim that in the future, “everything will go fully electric, apart from rockets. Ships are the next easiest to solve after cars’’. Six years later, it appears that the Tesla CEO may be correct about the upcoming battery boom with sea vessels.
Japanese-owned battery startup PowerX Inc. has now revealed a 140-meter-long electric propulsion vessel capable of transporting stored electricity across oceans. The Power Arc Series, will be equipped with 96 containerized marine batteries that can haul renewable energy worldwide, connecting grids, islands, and offshore wind farms. The completion of the vessel is slated for 2025, with sea trials in 2026.
The high-charged startup affirms that the ”Battery Tanker X” can bridge energy sources across oceans, making connections that were once thought impossible.
“For instance, in Japan, a battery tanker can carry power from regions with high renewable energy supply potential, such as Kyushu and Hokkaido, to high-demand areas of Honshu or for inter-island power transmission,” the company explained.
While electric propulsion vessels might be the future to decarbonize the shipping industry, there appears to be a need to haul stored renewable power to other grids worldwide via a new tanker class.
According to the company’s website, Power-x.jp, ”The Power Ark can economically travel up to 300km with today’s battery density. As densities increase, the Power Ark will be able to carry more power over longer distances.”
With the ability to transport from Grid-to-grid, Offshore wind to Grid to Island, the all-new Battery Tanker can slip-stream itself into decommissioned thermal or nuclear power plants which can be retrofitted as connection ports.
It’s estimated that ”by 2060, more than 1,000 thermal power plants will be decommissioned world wide, creating many opportunities to use existing infrastructure to connect the Power Ark. Leveraging existing infrastructure greatly reduces cost of deployment”.
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Sources: Power-x.jp (2023), Zerohedge.com (2023).