Tennessee Partners Launch ‘Second-Life’ Battery Project

UT-ORII is teaming up with Nissan, Middle Tennessee Electric, Tennessee State University and Seven States Power Corporation to launch an innovative second-life battery storage project.


UT-ORII is leading the research aspect of the project with Tom Zawodzinski, UT Knoxville-Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage heading the effort.


The rapid transition to electric vehicles and the escalating need for energy storage is driving demand for innovative approaches to repurposing used electric vehicle (EV) batteries to enhance the resilience of America’s electric grid. This partnership seeks to build a solution that can be helpful locally and modeled globally.


“Partnering on projects like these play a critical role in driving our Ambition 2030 vision and carbon neutrality goals in the US,” said Kent O’Hara, President, Nissan 4R Energy U.S.

This project will repurpose Nissan’s used EV batteries, giving them a “second life” as a Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) at Nissan America’s headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. The group will also research how to best reduce energy usage, improve battery life, optimize energy distribution within the system and into the grid, house and scale the packs and system, in addition, make it easy and safe for consumers to connect to the electric grid.

The project leverages a circular process model. Batteries lose capacity to fully charge over time. When EV batteries reach that point, the battery’s performance is no longer ideal for use in the vehicle and the battery is replaced. These used batteries have an opportunity to be repurposed in other long-life applications.

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