China, going big in another cleantech category? Who would’ve guessed it?
BYD, a large Chinese manufacturer of automobiles and rechargeable batteries, has teamed up with the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and constructed what they think is the world’s largest battery energy storage station.
“This large utility-scale project, located in Zhangbei, Hebei Province, combines 140 Mega-Watts of renewable energy generation (both wind & solar), 36 Mega-Watt-Hours (MWh) of energy storage and a smart power transmission system,” the news release notes.
“BYD’s battery energy storage system provides a solution for the realization of energy storage in the smart grid that improves renewable energy efficiency by 5%-10%.”
BYD provided “energy storage batteries in arrays larger than a football field” for the project and state that the entire project is worth over $500 million USD.
“This State Grid project demonstrates a solution and will be the model of development for China’s new energy resources,” Xiu Binglin, Deputy Director of the National Energy Administration, said.
I think we’ll see more and more news of large energy storage projects like this in 2012 and wonder if this one will even hold the title (largest battery energy storage station) for long.
Of course, other than energy storage, a good mixture of different energy options and smart grid technologies (and proper use of them) can help us to put a lot more renewable energy on the grid without any service reliability problems (and can even increase energy security). In fact, two utility company CEOs (from Florida and Texas) focused on the importance of those solutions rather than energy storage in a roundtable discussion at the Solar Power International conference in Dallas last October. They also mentioned the help the roll-out of electric vehicles, which can, naturally, act as storage mechanisms, would provide. Nonetheless, suffice it to say, energy storage projects like this one in China will play a role as well.