ENERGY storage firm Amber Kinetics, Inc. expects to more than double the production capacity of its manufacturing facility in Sto. Tomas, Batangas with the completion of its second plant by yearend.

“Our current capacity is something like 600-700 flywheels per year. By the time it (new plant) is fully operational, that should be something like 1,800 to about 2,000 flywheels per annum,” Roberto S. Kanapi, the company’s director of business development, said in a virtual media briefing on Wednesday.

Flywheels are the company’s modular kinetic energy storage system with a power capacity of 8 kilowatts and a discharge duration of four hours. They use recyclable steel materials.

Each of Amber Kinetics’ flywheels does not contain nor emit hazardous materials over its design life of 30 years. The company described its flywheel to be a “promising energy solution that does not compromise environment and safety.”

Mr. Kanapi said that the capacity of the second plant is also a function of the number of operating shifts, currently at one to two shifts a day. The facility can accommodate a third shift if needed.

Based in Silicon Valley, Amber Kinetics was founded in 2009 with the aim of helping hasten a transition to a clean energy future through what it claims to be the world’s first and only long-duration kinetic energy storage system.

In 2018, it opened a manufacturing site in the Philippines and has so far invested about $150-$160 million in the country.

With the second plant, the company expects to export its flywheels to other countries that need energy storage systems. Up to 70-80% of the current plant’s output is for the local market, Mr. Kanapi said, adding that a flywheel weighs about 2.5 tons.

“The two countries that we are looking at now, aside from Japan, of course, are Australia and the Philippines,” he said. “Australia is a huge market for energy storage. We were also completely surprised by the potential.”

Locally, Amber Kinetics has established partnerships with the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Department of Science and Technology. Both institutions are exploring emerging energy innovations, providing support to the country’s energy interests, it said.

The company has also set up its Flywheel Innovation Hub, a demonstration facility for flywheel technology at the De La Salle University’s Laguna campus.

Amber Kinetics said its storage system had been installed and commissioned in Australia, China, Hawaii, the Philippines, and the United States. More recently, flywheel units have been deployed and installed in Japan.

“Amber Kinetics provides accessible technology to support the Philippines’ growing renewable energy demands,” the company’s media release said. — Victor V. Saulon