Sterling PlanB rebrands as Shift; launches energy supply service

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Marine battery company Sterling PlanB Energy Solutions has rebranded as Shift as it launches a pay-as-you-go energy supply service called PwrSwäp. The service is aimed at customers from the marine industry – as well as other industries – seeking to electrify sites in a clean and cost-effective manner.

“We’re building a new business model to help customers shift to a cleaner world through electrification,” explained Brent Perry, CEO, Shift. “Shift – and our leading-edge PwrSwäp system – is ready to help industry, corporations, small communities and other institutions to use clean energy for their operations and achieve climate action goals, while also saving them money on day one.”

The announcement by Shift comes as the maritime sector looks to use cleaner alternatives to diesel fuel, in alignment with the International Maritime Organization’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030, and by 50% by 2050.

The energy solution can be used to electrify sites for both maritime and land applications and is based on the company’s energy storage system (ESS). PwrSwäp works by providing customers with fully charged ePod battery cartridges and the related systems, which are then connected through cloud-based service and management centers.

Unlike previous solutions, customers no longer have to own expensive batteries, carry out maintenance or spend time building the charging stations and renewable power production facilities. Instead, the assets are owned by Shift and the energy is sold to subscribers of the PwrSwäp service.

Shift aims to help the transition of marine vessels to electrification as the solution removes the need for expensive up-front investments when transitioning to new technology. Customers only pay for the energy used, and once batteries are depleted, they are swapped for fully charged batteries. If and when new technology emerges, Shift will integrate this into the solution at no new capital cost to customers.

PwrSwäp batteries are sized per trip, resulting in smaller batteries that weigh and cost less. The swappable nature of Shift’s batteries is made possible due to safety features and a durable design that can withstand harsh environments.

“Our swapping system means there is no lag time for PwrSwäp customers, such as short sea shipping customers,” commented Perry. “Our uniquely safe and robust batteries give us the ability to deliver this service.”

Despite batteries and charging stations being the central part of the PwrSwäp solution, it is possible for Shift to integrate new renewable energy sources such as offshore wind and solar. This integrated approach can be used for the electrification of ports, terminals, inland waterways, industrial sites and isolated communities.

In October 2021, Malaysia-based energy firm Yinson Holdings Berhad provided Shift with funding. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the two companies for a joint venture to roll out PwrSwäp and other Shift solutions on an international scale.

“Yinson is excited to support the expansion of marine electric mobility and looking forward to working with Shift to roll out ESS and PwrSwäp solutions in the SouthEast Asian market,” said Eirik Barclay, executive vice president – new ventures and technology, Yinson.

The battery and charging station system are currently being used for an electric hydrofoil project at the Port of Singapore.

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After spending the past six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum recently joined UKi Media & Events as an assistant editor. In this role he will use his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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