Lewes utility’s battery back-up system in limbo as Russian oligarch’s company files for bankrutcy

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The  troubles of a company controlled by Russian oligarch are  throwing plans for an electric battery back-up system in Lewes into question. 

McClatchy reported that Alevo Group and an affiliated company filed for bankruptcy protection. 

Alevo, last year,  announced that its first GridBank assembly unit has been released from manufacturing for testing,  before its commercial installation in Lewes.

However, McClatchy reported that Lewes has been waiting for months for the backup system that would help stabilize a municipal electric system that uses wind power and struggles with being at the end of the grid. 

Alevo is controlled by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev gained notice during last year’s election campaign for buying Donald Trump’s home for an eye-popping $100 million during the financial crisis.

McClatchy reported that Rybolovlev’s corporate jet appeared in a couple of cities where the Trump campaign had stopped. However, Trump denied he knows the  Rybolovlev or met with him.

The GridBank is a battery system is managed by software that will be used to back up and balance out supply and demand within the Lewes city electric system.

Click here for a previous story on the project.

Once testing is complete, the GridBank was to have been shipped to the City of Lewes, the location for the first commercial deployment of Alevo’s Battery Technology. 

The installation of the GridBank was to have taken place the site of an oil-fired generator that was formerly operated by the Lewes Board of Public Works. Once complete, the deployment would  be the largest of its kind in  Delaware.

“The commercial release of the first GridBank assembly marks a historic point of transition and scale-up of Alevo from lab to build up of the manufacturing line towards the commencement of mass production of GridBank units,” stated  Per Dybwad, CEO of Alevo Group. “What started as a bare-bones factory just two years ago has been transformed through investment and hard work into a state-of-the-art battery and GridBank systems manufacturing center.”

The Alevo GridBank,  a  lithium-ion storage enclosure, comprising multiple arrays of battery cells, is housed in a single container and governed by a software management system. 

Alevo is headquartered in Switzerland with a  GridBank manufacturing site in the U.S. near Charlotte, NC.

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