Rivian and ‘Free Solo’ star Alex Honnold group as much as construct photo voltaic microgrid with used EV batteries – TechCrunch

Rivian, the as soon as secretive firm that made its public debut in November with an electrical pickup truck and SUV, plans to present its batteries a second life and put them to work in a photo voltaic microgrid mission in Puerto Rico.

The automaker is teaming up with The Honnold Basis, a corporation began by Alex Honnold, the skilled climber and topic of the documentary Free Solo, on the microgrid mission. Honnold and Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe will focus on the mission Saturday in Denver. The dialogue, which is scheduled for six pm MT, will probably be live-streamed.

The microgrid mission will probably be arrange in Adjuntas, a metropolis of about 20,000 individuals in midwestern Puerto Rico that was severely impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Casa Pueblo, an environmental watchdog primarily based in Adjuntas that has been in search of methods to arrange inexpensive sources of neighborhood energy, can be a associate within the mission.

Rivian is offering 135 kilowatt-hour battery packs from its growth automobiles to help the microgrid. Earlier this 12 months, battery engineers from Rivian and The Honnold Basis visited Casa Pueblo and met with neighborhood leaders to design a site-specific system that can energy most of the companies positioned within the Adjuntas city sq..

The downtown photo voltaic microgrid mission will serve two functions. It’s going to give residents entry to electrical energy for core enterprise if the first supply of energy is gone. The microgrid may even be used day by day to offset the excessive value of vitality in Puerto Rico, which is twice the nationwide common of the U.S.

The system is anticipated to launch in 2020.

“Second-life batteries are an enormous enabler to accelerating widespread adoption of renewable vitality, and it’s thrilling to examine this method contributing importantly to a neighborhood. This mission permits us to mannequin a custom-made vitality storage answer that takes under consideration area constraints, catastrophe resiliency and vitality independence,” Scaringe stated.

The mission marks the start of the corporate’s long-term plans to search out all kinds of functions for second-life batteries.

The corporate designed its pack, module and battery administration system to transition from automobile vitality storage to stationary vitality storage on the finish of their automobile life. The module itself is skinny, a design that permits for second-life functions which can be space-efficient and customizable.

Rivian is an electrical automaker centered on journey automobiles like pickup vehicles and sport utility automobiles. The corporate introduced in February that it had raised $700 million in a spherical led by Amazon.

The corporate has spent the primary a part of its life working out of the general public eye. It was initially launched as Mainstream Motors in 2009. By 2011, the identify modified to Rivian and moved out of Florida. Right this moment, the corporate has greater than 1,000 staff cut up between growth places in Plymouth, Mich., San Jose and Irvine, Calif. and Surrey, England. It additionally has a 2.6 million-square-foot manufacturing unit in Regular, Sick.

Rivian plans to launch the R1T electrical pickup truck and the R1S SUV within the U.S. in late 2020, with introduction to different international geographies beginning in 2021.

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