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Press Release

Demonstration Operation of Storage Battery System for Power Grid Starts in California

-Aiming To a Multiple-Use of Storage Battery System for Transmission and Distribution Grid-
March  17,2017
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

NEDO and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., in cooperation with the State of California and public utility company San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), started the next phase of the Demonstration Project for Validation of Redox Flow Battery Performance in California on March 16, 2017. The project is using one of the largest scale redox flow battery system in the United States.

Following the start of the project in September 2015, a 2 MW redox flow battery system for power grid was constructed at a substation in San Diego. Demonstration operation will now be carried out to evaluate the management of surplus electricity and regulation of grid frequency and voltage fluctuation. Data on performance in transmission and distribution grid will also be collected to improve the storage battery system's economic value.

To mark the start of demonstration operation, a commencement ceremony was held at the project site on March 16, 2017.

  • figure: MW/8 MWh redox flow battery system
    Fig.1: 2 MW/8 MWh redox flow battery system

1. Overview

The State of California has set a goal of increasing its renewable portfolio standard, excluding large-scale hydropower generation, to 33% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. These goals are the second-highest renewable energy integration goals after the State of Hawaii. However, issues resulting from increased integration of solar power, including rapid fluctuations of demand and supply balance that occur in the morning and evening (the so-called Duck Curve) as well as low-quality electricity, have become more evident. For this reason, utilities are now required to install large-scale energy storage systems under California's Assembly Bill 2514*1. In addition, public utility organizations are required to collaborate in developing a storage battery roadmap with the aim of expanding revenue opportunities for storage battery systems.

Against this backdrop, NEDO concluded a memorandum of understanding with the State of California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) for the Demonstration Project for Validation of Redox Flow Battery Performance in California in September 2015. NEDO entrusted its work for implementing the project to Sumitomo Electric and the project demonstrates the multiple-use of storage battery system for transmission and distribution grid in the San Diego area to improve its economic value and disseminate the system.

NEDO and Sumitomo Electric, in cooperation with the State of California and local utility company SDG&E, started the demonstration operation phase of the project on March 16, 2017. The 2 MW redox flow battery*2 system developed for the project is the largest of its kind in the United States.

With the assistance of SDG&E, a redox flow battery of a storage battery system for power grid was constructed at a substation for performance verification. Because a redox flow battery has excellent durability and enhanced safety and is suitable for both fast response and long duration applications, it is expected to be an effective solution to addressing issues that result from increased integration of renewable energy. More specifically, in distribution grid multiple operations, such as management of surplus electricity and regulation of frequency and voltage fluctuations, will be analyzed to determine their technological effectiveness and economic efficiency. Following this, the redox flow battery system will be controlled by independent system operator to demonstrate the contribution to ancillary services*3 in market participation and to improve the system’s economic value. Totally the demonstration evaluates the multiple use of storage battery system for transmission and distribution grid.

Through the project, NEDO aims to resolve issues related to increasing integration of renewable energy, such as surplus energy and frequency and voltage fluctuations, while analyzing the redox flow battery system to improve cost-effectiveness.

  • figure:Fig. 2: Power transmission and distribution using redox flow battery
    Fig. 2: Power transmission and distribution using redox flow battery
  • figure: Principle of redox flow battery
    Fig. 3: Principle of redox flow battery

2. Commencement Ceremony

The demonstration operation commencement ceremony was held at SDG&E’s San Miguel Substation on March 16, 2017. Mr. Makoto Watanabe, Executive Director of NEDO; Mr. Junji Itoh, Managing Director of Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.; Ms. Caroline A. Winn, Chief Operating Officer of San Diego Gas & Electricity; Mr. David Hochschild, Commissioner of the California Energy Commission; Mr. Sid Voorakkara, Deputy Director of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development; and Mr. Akira Chiba, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, attended the ceremony.

【Glossary】

*1 California’s Assembly Bill 2514
Assembly Bill 2514 requires public utilities in California to increase use of large-scale energy storage systems.
*2 Redox flow battery
A redox flow battery is an electrolyte circulation type electric power storage device that stores and releases charges by utilizing the reaction of oxidized ions, such as vanadium ions.
*3 Ancillary services
Ancillary services can provide emergency power and control electric voltage and frequency.

3. For more Information, please contact:

NEDO Smart Community Department
Contact Persons: Yamakawa, Morozumi, Wada, Dewaki  Tel: +81-44-520-5274­

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. Public Relations Dept. Tel: +81-6-6220-4119­