Saft, a global enterprise in the design, development and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry, has been awarded its first energy storage system (ESS) contract in Japan to supply a containerised lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system for a remote island microgrid project conducted by Takaoka Toko Co., Ltd. – a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The demonstration project on NiiJima Island will comprise diesel generators, solar panels and wind power installations working in various combinations to optimize the usage of renewable energy resources.
The Japanese government is leading the way in the development of renewable energy in order to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil and nuclear based energy generation. This has resulted in the setting of targets to increase the proportion of electricity to be generated from renewable sources from the current 10 percent to 13.5 percent (approximately 141 billion kWh) in 2020 and 20 percent by 2030. For an experimental period of 5 years, this project has as its principal objective to highlight the technical challenges (such as expected electric power quality and grid management) that need addressing when renewable energies – especially wind generation – are associated with electric power systems and to study the related solutions.
Niijima is a volcanic island in the Philippine Sea, South-East from Tokyo at about two and a half-hours by jet boat. Its small area and population of around 3,000 people is the perfect location for this demonstration project as a miniature model of Japan in anticipation for 2030.
The ESS will comprise one of Saft’s well proven Intensium® Max 20 M Medium Power containerised Li-ion battery systems, modified to offer a nominal storage capacity of 520 kWh and 1 MW peak power output. The battery will operate in combination with Takaoka-Toko’s intelligent control systems that enable large amounts of wind and other renewable energy based power to be integrated into diesel powered grids, ensuring system stability and smooth control of the gensets. The program will investigate the use of energy storage in operations such as ramp and frequency Smoothing.
The demonstration site is currently under construction and the installation and commissioning of the Saft ESS is planned for early 2015.
The project is being coordinated by Saft Hong Kong Limited, which is responsible for the Asian market, in collaboration with Sumitomo Corporation – Saft’s partner in Japan for more than 25 years. In addition with Saft’s expertise in successfully operating megawatt scale ESS in many projects in Europe, North and South America, competitive pricing was biggest key to winning this contract.
“We are delighted to be working with Takaoka Toko on this high-profile demonstration project that will provide our first reference for Saft’s ESS capabilities in Japan’s renewable energy sector that is currently enjoying exponential growth,” says Philippe Ulrich, General Manager and Director of Sales Asia at Saft Hong Kong. “It is an important breakthrough that will enable us to prove the performance, safety, reliability and cost-competitiveness of our Li-ion technology to potential Japanese customers in a real-world application.”