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Munich Re offers coverage for battery manufacturers

Lithium ion storage battery

Munich Reinsurance Co. on Thursday said it is offering coverage to protect battery manufacturers against the risk of their products not performing as promised.

Wilsonville, Oregon-based flow battery manufacturer ESS Inc. has become the first customer for the battery product, Munich Re said in a statement. ESS produces stationary battery modules that allow energy from solar parks and network operators to be stored over long periods.

The 10-year warranty coverage for battery manufacturers will pay for repair or replacement costs of a defective or weak battery above a predetermined amount, Munich Re said in a statement.

Annual limits of $50 million are available, but this can be tailored to meet the needs of individual customers, a spokeswoman said.

“The insurance cover is primarily aimed at major projects, such as those to ensure grid stability or to cover peak demand periods,” Munich Re said.

The product makes it easier for manufacturers to ramp up deployment of battery capacities, thus making renewable energy more dependable and widely available, the reinsurer said in the statement.

By capping the warranty costs with insurance, renewable energy projects will find it easier to secure financing, the company said.

Customers can choose to extend the coverage to protect selected investment projects directly so that warranties would be covered even if the battery manufacturer were to file for bankruptcy during the 10-year period, Munich Re said.

The reinsurer also plans to introduce the coverage onto the mobility market, for example to insure the performance of batteries in electric vehicles, according to the statement.

“The ability to insure battery performance is a key piece of the puzzle in decarbonizing our energy sector,” Peter Röder, member of the board of management at Munich Re, said in the statement.


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