Canada’s zinc-air battery developer Zinc8 Energy Solutions (CSE: ZAIR, OTC: ZAIRF) has been approved for a grant from Empire State Development of up to $9 million as an incentive for the company to establish its first US-based production facility in New York State.
The grant is part of a new framework announced by Governor Kathy Hochul, whose goal is for the State to achieve 70% renewable electricity by 2030, a nation-leading six gigawatts of energy storage and 100% zero-emissions electricity by 2040. This would represent at least 20% of the peak electricity load of New York State.
The tax credits are available immediately for a period of up to five years, in whole or part, depending on the level of investment and jobs created.
“Zinc8 intends to make a significant investment over a five-year span to automate and build out the site, making this Zinc8’s US headquarters and initial production facility,” the company said in a media statement. “Further to the build-out, Zinc8 plans to create up to 500 clean jobs over this period for the local economy with the support of the Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.”
The Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in targeted industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investments are eligible to apply for up to five tax credits.
“We’re excited by the level of support and interest we’ve received towards locating a manufacturing facility and creating jobs in the state of New York,” Ron MacDonald, CEO and president of Zinc8, said in the brief. “The EJP tax incentives offered to companies looking to create jobs and help build a green economy is an additional layer of funding that can be utilized concurrently with other financing, including state, municipal and federal funding packages which help companies like Zinc8 access additional sources of capital and expand their business plans.”
According to MacDonald, these incentives have made it logical for the company to select New York State for its first manufacturing facility.
Back in September 2022, the CEO announced that Zinc8 would be setting up its first manufacturing operations in the US, a direct result of the Federal Government’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act which provides refundable tax credits for Zinc8’s production of its zinc-air energy storage systems.
Zinc8 proposes a battery or modular storage system designed to deliver power in the range of 20kW – 50MW with a capacity of eight hours of storage duration or higher.
In this battery, energy is stored in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles are combined with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the surrounding air.
To get started, the system takes power from the grid or a renewable source and uses it to generate the zinc particles in a section called the ‘zinc regenerator.’
The zinc regenerator consists of two electrodes. During recharge, the regenerator undergoes an electrolysis process in which an external electrical load is applied to energize one particular electrode on which zinc is deposited. Simultaneously, oxygen evolves from the other electrode. Subsequently, a proprietary method is used to remove zinc from the electrode and transfer it to a fuel storage tank.
When the zinc particles stored in the tank are required -because power is needed-, they are delivered to the ‘power stack,’ where they are recombined with oxygen to generate electricity. The zinc oxide (ZnO) by-product is returned to the storage tank for later regeneration. Thus, there is no net consumption of zinc.