Japanese Startup Plans to Transport Renewable Electricity Via Ship

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday May 29, 2023

Japanese battery startup PowerX, Inc (PowerX) has unveiled plans to transport electricity using specially designed ships.

Its first design of a so-called 'battery tanker' concept, the Power Ark 100, was recently showcased at the 'Bariship' International Maritime Exhibition held in Imabari City, Japan.

PowerX says in the third quarter of 2023 it will create a new company, Ocean Power Grid Inc., that will own, sell, and operate the battery tankers in Japan and abroad

The firm sees demand for such tankers coming from markets that want access to renewable energy, but are unable to obtain it via conventional methods.

"There's plenty of wind, solar, and thermal energy on Earth, but not where people need it most. So let's ship it," the company declares in its promotional material.

The first Battery Tanker is scheduled for completion is 2025 with domestic and international field testing starting in 2026.

This 140 meter long electric propulsion vessel will be equipped with 96 containerized marine batteries, providing a total capacity of 241MWh.

"Oceans can run deep, with seismic activity. Laying an underwater cable isn't always ideal," the firm explains.

"The Battery Tanker can bridge energy sources across oceans, making connections that were once thought impossible.

"For instance, in Japan, a Battery Tanker can carry power from regions with high renewable energy supply potential, such as Kyushu and Hokkaido, to high-demand areas of Honshu or for inter-island power transmission."

As part of the project PowerX says it has signed a memorandum of understanding and a Partnership Agreement with Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd. and the City of Yokohama to pursue the novel maritime power transmission concept and achieve carbon-neutral ports.