Overseas marketing grants help Brisbane battery innovator win US$1.2 million US contract

3 February 2022

Brisbane-based Redflow develops clean-energy storage solutions and is a global leader in flow batteries. With Austrade’s help, and funding from the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program, the company has expanded its exporting capability. In March 2021 Redlfow landed a landmark 2MWh contract to support renewable energy in California.

In this case study, Redflow Marketing Manager, Maree Mills explains how:

  • EMDG funding helped Redflow rebrand and improve marketing
  • Austrade advisers helped the company make contacts overseas
  • Redflow is helping companies meet renewable energy targets.

To find out about how EMDG can help your company market products and services overseas, contact emdg.help@austrade.gov.au or visit the EMDG homepage.

Australian battery innovators help rollout of renewables

Flow batteries are a part of the carbon neutral revolution that is helping renewable energy become mainstream. The batteries provide energy storage for a wide number of applications in commercial, industrial and utility environments. This includes remote locations.

‘Flow batteries are an excellent solution for backup power because they can be fully charged up and then be placed into hibernation mode, ’says Maree Mills, Marketing Manager for Redflow. ‘In hibernation mode they can retain 100% of their charge almost indefinitely. They can be activated quickly, making them ideal for commercial and industrial use.’

Redflow’s patented zinc-bromine batteries are essentially fire retardant. This also makes them ideal for providing emergency backup power in locations that are prone to bushfires or industrial deployments where fire risk is high.

‘These batteries function in high temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius, making them a great solution for warm climates,’ says Mills.

Redflow exports around the world

The company has around 40 employees in Australia and a dedicated manufacturing team overseas. Redflow has already installed flow-batteries in over 180 sites around the world.

‘We have delivered over 1.8GW of energy-storage capacity to customers in Australia, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe,’ says Mills.

In March 2021, the company won a landmark, US$1.2 million contract to supply battery power to a waste-processing facility in California owned by local utility, Anaergia. Anaergia’s Rialto Bioenergy Facility required a 2MWh energy-storage system comprising 192 flow batteries. The contract is Redflow’s largest US order to date.

‘Our Anaergia contract shows how our batteries can reduce the cost of renewable energy,’ says Mills. ‘Anaergia will use the storage solution to run the facility when power costs are high, as well as for backup power if the grid goes down.’

The contract is also a showcase project for Redflow in the US.

‘This contract will open doors to other tenders and help us respond to requests for information,’ she adds. ‘The Anaergia project will demonstrate that our flow batteries can deliver large MW storage solutions successfully. Energy storage will be imperative to supporting the power industry as we move to net zero.’

Austrade’s EMDG aids global marketing

Austrade helped in multiple ways. The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program has been simplified during the pandemic. The Government has also increased funding.

EMDG helped companies like Redflow to grow export markets while commercial travel was at a standstill.

‘Marketing during the pandemic has been difficult and costly, but EMDG has helped,’ says Mills. ‘For example, we have used EMDG grants to rebrand and refresh our marketing activities. This will help us project a global professional brand to the market. It shows we are ready to compete with other large energy storage providers.’ 

Austrade helps Redflow build supply chains and markets

Austrade also helped Redflow to build a global supply chain.

‘Austrade has helped us gain traction in multiple overseas markets,’ she says. For example, Austrade advisers made key introductions and set up meetings with potential overseas partners. They provide invaluable guidance on how business works in different countries.

‘There are some big trade shows in the US in 2022 that we plan to attend. EMDG funding will enable us to meet potential clients and showcase our technology. We want to be recognised as a leading deliverer of flow batteries for large-scale projects.’

Australian product helps world move to renewables

The global move to zero net emission by 2050 will supercharge the battery industry. Redflow is proud that technology developed in Australia will help scores of countries meet this challenge.

‘Renewable energy is usually intermittent,’ she says. ‘Therefore, long-duration energy storage is required to stabilise the grid and secure power supply.

‘We are helping to meet the oncoming demand for energy storage. This will help to achieve the zero- carbon future we are all aiming for.’

Export Marketing Development Grants

Austrade’s Export Market Development Grants program helps Australian businesses grow their exports in international markets.

The grants encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to market and promote their goods and services globally.

To find out about how EMDG can help your company market products and services overseas, contact emdg.help@austrade.gov.au or visit the EMDG homepage.