Japanese power transfer vessel developer PowerX has raised ¥4.1bn ($32.5m) to fund its project to carry electricity from offshore wind farms to shore in containerised batteries by 2025.
The financing round was co-led by Spiral Capital and Nippon Gas, and also involved the likes of Mitsui & Co. and banks MUFG and Mizuho Capital. PowerX said it would use the funds for the construction of a battery assembly facility and research and development efforts.
Compatriot shipping giant, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and shipbuilder, Imabari, which are involved in the project, together with class societies DNV and ClassNK, have also joined the first round of fundraising.
PowerX, launched last year, has set out to develop an electrically powered 100 teu trimaran specially designed for transferring offshore wind energy in Japan’s coastal waters. The initial model of the so-called Power ARK series will carry 100 grid batteries and is expected to transport enough electricity for around 210,000 Japanese households in one single trip. Future plans include the construction of larger ships – the 150 m long Power ARK 1000 and the 220 m long Power ARK 3000.
The Tokyo-based company also plans to establish a local gigafactory for battery assembly to produce the marine batteries needed for Power ARK as well as other large-scale energy storage solutions such as grid batteries and EV fast chargers.