It's another step on a challenging and long road to become a serious battery supplier.

Northvolt, the emerging lithium-ion battery supplier for EVs and energy storage applications, announced the commissioning of its first public battery energy storage system in Västerås, Sweden.

It's a small unit, 220 kW / 320 kWh (usable), but enough to become a buffer between the grid and a local fast charging station, deployed by the local energy provider Mälarenergi.

According to the company, the battery will reduce peaks in electricity demand of the charging station by more than 80%, which is great from grid point of view.

"The battery system functions as a buffer between the electricity grid and EV charging station to enable peak shaving and load levelling. Peak shaving in this way helps utilities to meet demand without relying on peaking generators which are increasingly recognized as a costly and inefficient way to compensate for new demands of EV charging."

Mälarenergi intends to install more Northvolt's battery energy storage in Västerås, which is a great opportunity for the company.

The real test for Northvolt will be however ramp-up of the lithium-ion cell production at its Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, Sweden (under construction), starting next year. The plan is to increase gradually to 40 GWh annually.

That would put Northvolt into a position of one of the largest battery suppliers in Europe, although not on par with the global players, which are already looking beyond 100 GWh a year.