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ABRI Member Bulletin ~ 29 November 2022

  1. NSW lithium battery recycling regulation workshop (30 November) – What do you see as the biggest challenges to lithium battery recycling?
  2. Vic Govt fire prevention program & an explanation of the role of 4 agencies involved in the program – 1-3pm, 7 December
  3. Should battery energy storage be included in a PV recycling scheme – have your say
  4. Safe handling of hazardous voltage energy storage systems
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1. NSW LITHIUM BATTERY RECYCLING REGULATION WORKSHOP (30 NOVEMBER) - WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO LITHIUM BATTERY RECYCLING?

A reminder the Sydney University/ABRI NSW lithium battery recycling workshop is 30 November from midday to 4pm. This is in person only. Regular updates and other opportunities to participate will be provided as the project progresses.

The workshop is to explore the risks that arise in five common and emerging scenarios at battery end of life. The focus is on risks and unknowns, the most challenging areas for developing a NSW lithium battery recycling guideline. The standard processes, i.e. apply for a planning approval, licence, etc, can be readily documented. The requirements underneath to deliver safety, environment and industry development objectives require teasing out to ensure fit for purpose regulation and targeting of risks.

Stakeholders will be asked to discuss the probability and materiality of the risks and the perceived responsibility of various stakeholders. The key questions which will be explored in the workshop are:

  1. How does the scenario emerge?
  2. How will that risk materialise in that scenario? Which stakeholders are exposed to that risk?
  3. How can we categorise those risks? Specially, are the risks are already adequately controlled, should they be accepted and or do the risks need to be mitigated.

The workshop will use a range of tools to methodically work through these questions using five scenarios: (i) Status quo; (ii) mixed consumer batteries emerging challenges; (iii) large batteries; (iv) damaged, defective or recalled (DDR); and (v) repurpose into secondary products.

It will inform the development of the two project outcomes to support industry:

  1. Development a NSW lithium battery recycling guide
  2. Understanding emerging challenges and risks so these can be addressed to deliver: industry development; safety, sustainability and environmental policy outcomes; and risk based regulation.
Venue details – Sydney University,  Law Foyer in the New Law Building (big glass box overlooking Victoria Park). The law foyer is located at the ground floor entry if coming in from Eastern Avenue or it is at Level 2 if you enter from Barff Rd and use the building lifts.

There are around 30 people attending from industry, across the NSW and Cwth governments, and other interested stakeholders.

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2. VIC GOVT FIRE PREVENTION PROGRAM & AN EXPLANATION OF THE ROLE OF 4 AGENCIES INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM - 1-3PM, 7 DECEMBER

DEWLP is coordinating a presentation for ABRI members to set out the Victorian government fire prevention work program in battery recycling and the role of each government agency. This is in response to requests from ABRI requesting clarification around the role of each agency and an explanation as to how agencies coordinate their work programs. This is a great opportunity to hear from all four agencies on their work priorities and to ask questions.

Draft workshop agenda

The four agencies presenting on their work and interactions across government are:

  • DEWLP – Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning
  • FRV – Fire and Rescue Victoria
  • EPA – Environment Protection Authority
  • Worksafe Victoria

Time/date: 1-3pm, Wednesday 7 December
Venue: Level 1, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Online: See agenda details for dial in details – Draft workshop agenda
RSVP:  Email, if you haven’t already done so

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3. SHOULD BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE BE INCLUDED IN A PV RECYCLING SCHEME - HAVE YOUR SAY

The Cwlth Product Stewardship Schemes and Regulation Team has commenced work on exploring options for a solar photovoltaic stewardship scheme and whether or not this should include associated energy storage system batteries. This is part of a broader project to develop a regulatory product stewardship scheme for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and household electrical and electronic products (e-products).

The Team is seeking informal (email) feedback on a consultation paper by 7 December or at a workshop for recyclers on 8 December (2 to 3.30pm). Please provide written responses, or advise of your interest in attending a group discussion, to estewardship@dcceew.gov.au.

Considerations on whether or not to include energy storage systems should assess factors including:

  • Giving precedence to the development of commercial solutions 
  • Minimising costs and red tape including duplication with other schemes 
  • Consistency with policy developments and regulation overseas, such as producer responsibility and battery tracking rules, to maximise and leverage existing opportunities
  • Ability to deliver solutions and support to regional and remote areas
  • Undertaking a market and business analysis to determine the optimal combination of levers to encourage energy storage battery recycling in Australia

ABRI is interested in hearing member views on this issue, please send Katharine an email or call 0488 216 750 to discuss.

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4. SAFE HANDLING OF HAZARDOUS VOLTAGE ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

The North American Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) presented (29 November) to ABRI members on work underway to develop a Guide to Safe Handling of Hazardous Voltage ES systems.

ABRI is working with NEMA to understand what opportunities may exist for applying the guide to the Australian market.

The guide:

  • identifies safety issues such as arc flash when handling hazardous voltage battery packs
  • identifies electrical safety categories that are important to understand before proceeding with energized electrical work associated with automotive hazardous voltage batteries
  • covers direct and indirect hazards, shock and arc boundaries, hazard risk categories, and personal protective equipment
  • ensures proper storage/isolation in battery packs
  • checking the current status of the battery
  • best practices for testing the state of health of battery systems and procedures for obtaining a permit to work on HV vehicles.
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