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Tuesday, 12 November 2019 10:46

Redflow secures deal with NZ Rural Connectivity Group

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Redflow secures deal with NZ Rural Connectivity Group Image stuart miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australian-listed energy storage technology company Redflow has been chosen by the New Zealand Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) to provide zinc-bromine flow batteries to store energy in off-grid telecommunication sites in remote rural locations.

Redflow announced on Tuesday that commercial negotiations to establish a direct relationship between RCG and Redflow to purchase batteries are now underway.

The deal will see RCG build over 400 new cell sites in rural locations to extend mobile and wireless broadband coverage to more than 34,000 rural homes and businesses, provide mobile coverage to a further 1000 kilometres of state highways and provide connectivity to more than 100 top New Zealand tourist destinations by December 2022.

The new cell sites will be a combination of both off-grid and on-grid locations.

The RCG was established by the New Zealand Government in 2017 as an independent entity to build, operate and maintain a new open access network.

The critical infrastructure project is funded by the government’s Telecommunications Development Levy and an extra $75 million from the three mobile network operators, Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees.

RCG’s off-grid cell sites will meet their energy needs through a combination of PV solar panels, Redflow batteries and a backup generator, and it is anticipated that the first site, which will use eight Redflow batteries, will be installed by the end of December 2019.

RCG Head of Procurement and Commercial, Richard Spencer, said the company looked forward to working with Redflow on this critical off-grid deployment. “We have closely examined Redflow’s energy storage technology and believe it provides a compelling solution for RCG due to its deep cycling capability, its long life and its environmental benefits over competing technologies.”

Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris said the use of Redflow batteries at RCG’s sites was evidence of further progress in targeting the telecommunications sector and the environmental and performance benefits of zinc-bromine flow batteries.

“We have been working with the RCG over the past six months and are delighted that we have been selected for this important deployment,” he said.

“This adds to the success of our recent deployments with Optus in the Daintree rainforest in Queensland, our current system powering an off-grid site for Vodafone New Zealand in the Thames Coromandel area and our recent order for one of South Africa’s largest telecommunication companies. We look forward to negotiating the supply arrangements with RCG and finalising the detailed financial elements of the relationship.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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