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NYK Signs On With Battery-Shipping Startup Power X

Power X
Courtesy Power X

Published Feb 2, 2022 9:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japanese renewable energy startup Power X has signed an agreement with NYK for the development and testing of a battery-carrying ship, which would ferry charged battery modules from offshore wind farms back to shore. The concept would provide an alternative to conventional cabled power connections for offshore wind development. 

Power X has already signed an MoU on the development of its "Power ARK" vessel concept with Japanese yard Imabari Shipbuilding, which has agreed to invest $9 million in the startup. Together, they aim to co-develop a prototype vessel by 2025. PowerX will develop and manufacture the battery storage system and other battery-related equipment for the vessel, while Imabari will contribute shipbuilding expertise. It expects that a small version of the ship will be able to carry about 220 MWh of power on a single trip. 

Traveling on electricity, the trimaran vessel would have a range of up to about 185 miles, enough to reach shore from most practical wind farm locations. The Power ARK concept could also be adapted to undertake long-distance, intercontinental power transmission, according to Power X.

The new partnership with NYK covers the development of the marine energy storage system and management system, the field testing of the prototype ship. 

"Marine batteries are the key to solving the obstacles facing renewable energy adoption and expansion. By bringing much-needed innovation to zero-emission vessels and offshore wind energy, PowerX takes a big leap beyond conventional battery storage," said NYK Senior Managing Executive Officer Tomoyuki Koyama. "Through this partnership, NYK will strive to resolve the many challenges to the shipping industry, such as the shift to zero-emission vessels and automation, as well as the promotion and the adoption of renewable energy."