Meet Jasmin Noori. Industrial engineer of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and today one of Northvolt’s talented business development managers working on grid energy storage solutions.
Northvolt is in the business of developing cutting-edge battery solutions for new and emerging markets and has focused on building up a strong business development team to map out the markets into which Northvolt will play.
Batteries can serve countless applications, but Northvolt has designated four areas as markets for Li-ion battery solutions: automotive, industrial, grid and portable.
For Jasmin, it is the development of Northvolt’s business offerings for grid markets that occupies her time at Northvolt’s office in Stockholm.
“Working on building energy storage solutions for electricity grids basically means working at the very front of modern energy systems,” Jasmin explains.
“All over the world we’re seeing this huge shift in the way that energy is produced and consumed thanks to renewable energy systems like solar PV and wind power. And it has come to be acknowledged that a fundamental part of that transition relies on energy storage, and that’s where batteries come into play.”
“As electricity consumption is increasing, batteries can help to stabilize electricity grids and reduce peak loads. So for me working on grid storage is an incredibly exciting job – it’s great to be a part of something that is making such a positive difference to our world.”
Enrolled in industrial engineering at KTH in 2006, Jasmin was recognizing the emergence and importance of global efforts to decarbonize energy systems and opted to specialize in energy systems.
“I had just watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and was about to choose my technical specialization during my first year at KTH. It was clear to me that transforming global energy systems would become one of the biggest challenges that society would face in my lifetime, and probably for the century.”
“From an engineering perspective, it’s a puzzle to solve and that’s a lot of fun. But of course, there is also the real world, and solutions have to be competitive and viable in a business sense – that adds to the challenge.”
During her studies Jasmin took on an exchange program, spending one year in Italy studying finance and marketing. The experience meant expanding her perspective, not to mention the chance to pick up on some Italian. “Northvolt actually has some collaboration with Italian power providers, so I’ve been tempted to try out my Italian again, but I must admin that generally I keep to English!”
Following her studies Jasmin completed a traineeship at ABB.
Recalling the experience, she says: “We had a rotation program with assignments in different departments and I had the opportunity to explore many different areas at ABB; ones that required developing both technical and commercial skills. I really liked the mix of both commercial and technical aspects and wanted to continue working with technical sales.”
After the traineeship Jasmin worked as an Area Sales Manager, responsible for sales of high-voltage products to south east Asia and travelled frequently to the region before eventually moving to China for a year with the company.
It was during that year, on a visit home to Sweden, that Jasmin came into contact with a new start-up.
“I couldn’t shake off the idea of working in clean-tech and, maybe, at Northvolt. I began following Northvolt’s news and reading about its plans, which to me seemed incredibly interesting. I saw the potential of batteries to support energy grids and their position within power solutions, but I also saw the significance of Northvolt’s aim to develop a blueprint for sustainable battery production.”
It wasn’t long before Jasmin submitted an application to Northvolt, and in January 2019 arrived at Northvolt for orientation.
Never an ordinary day
In some sense, the role of battery energy storage for the grid is straight-forward. Renewable energy generation is intermittent – a fact that limits how we can make use of electricity generated from renewables. However, storing generated electricity in batteries brings flexibility in terms of how and when that energy can be used.
Of course, the reality of Jasmin and her team’s work is more complex.
As Jasmin says: “We need battery solutions built for specific use cases and environments. This means we need to first identify where those use cases are, and then what the precise requirements are.”
Expanding on the work of her team, Jasmin describes working in two ways to accomplish their goal.
“On the one hand we are identifying grid solutions ourselves and building our own products for markets we see as evolving. For example, we saw a need to replace diesel generators and therefore developed Voltpack. This a clear example of seeing trends in the market and then developing or adapting a product accordingly.”
“Of course, we want to be smart in how systems are built,” says Jasmin, highlighting the example of the significance of system modularity.
“Designing battery systems in a modular manner brings a lot of benefits. Basically it means we can work with batteries as building blocks which can be linked up to supply energy at varying scales, all based around the same technology. It’s a strategy that reduces costs by facilitating manufacturing, process automation and so on.”
For more insight on development of Northvolt’s portfolio of battery solutions, see ‘A Portfolio of Green Battery Solutions‘.
“But at the same time, we’re dealing a lot with customers who are coming to Northvolt for solutions that enable them to increase use of clean energy today.”
“The energy market has for a long period of time been rather conservative, but is now opening up, and many companies are seeing in Northvolt the opportunity to develop particularly battery solutions built for their unique requirements.”
Jasmin explains that this dynamic and highly engaged relationship with customers is an aspect to work at Northvolt she especially enjoys, saying: “We’ve really embraced the idea of responding to customer needs and collaborating to develop our products. This means that products we deliver are more refined and fit-for-purpose. You really feel engaged and a part of this move to a cleaner future, built around new technology.”
“The approach extends beyond physical systems to developing digital solutions too,” says Jasmin. “Northvolt is developing battery systems at varying scales, but we’re also very much engaged with the opportunities of digital technologies. Actually, these tools are key to optimizing systems and ensuring we get the most out of battery assets – a point that motivated Northvolt’s work on Connected Batteries.”
“As part of my routine work, apart from meeting customers, I also work closely with Northvolt’s Battery Systems department for delivery of projects. This means working with our project managers, electrical, thermal and mechanical engineers – people actually designing and building solutions Northvolt requires for its customers, according to needs that our team work to identity.”
Reflecting over her first seven months at Northvolt, Jasmin notes that there has been a big change in work. “As we’ve gone along, we have moved the focus from securing customer contracts to now delivering on some of the more mature projects. The pace here is really special, and it’s exciting to see what can be done when you get a good team together.”
Still, the journey is just beginning for Northvolt. Just as energy industries are coming to understand the role for battery storage, Northvolt, Jasmin and her team, have an exciting path ahead to develop and deliver solutions.
“While the benefit of battery storage is becoming clearer,” says Jasmin, “and it certainly helps that we have more and more compelling examples out there now, there is still a need to push to ensure that companies both understand the need for a shift away from fossil-based energy production and the advantages that batteries bring.”
Jasmin concludes: “It has been a fun and inspiring journey so far and it’s great being surrounded with talented and devoted people. The opportunities are definitely out there, and our Business Development team is strong and well-positioned to capture them.”