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Japan’s Largest Energy Storage System Supplied By Toshiba

A 40MW–40MWh large-scale battery storage system will be supplied by Toshiba to Tohoku Electric Power Company for the Minami-Soma Substation Project, the companies recently announced. Minami Soma is a small city with slightly over 60,000 residents and is about 16 miles north of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The energy storage system will use a collection of SCiB lithium-ion batteries. Project construction has already begun and operations will begin in February 2016.

energy storage

The battery technology selected for the large-scale energy storage system works well in very cold temperatures and has been very reliable. “Toshiba’s rechargeable battery (SCiB™) products are a safe, high-performance, long-life, rechargeable battery solution for a  wide array of applications ranging from electric vehicles to grid energy storage. SCiB batteries can be charged in as little as 10 minutes  and have excellent thermal performance, reducing or eliminating the need for battery cooling. The LTO chemistry contained in SCiB is not susceptible to thermal runaway or lithium metal plating, providing exceptional battery safety characteristics.” The large-scale energy storage system is intended to balance renewable energy supply and demand.

Tohoku Electric Power Company is a utility in the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest Japanese island. Additionally, it provides electricity to Nigata Prefecture which is also located on Honshu. Over 7 million people get their electricity from the utility.

Fukushima is located in the Tohoku region, so it is only natural that renewable energy and energy storage would emerge in an area so severely impacted by radiation leaks. The Japanese government wrote in 2013 that such a transition would take place. “The government estimates that the market size of renewable energy in Japan will greatly expand by 2020. The market size of solar power generation devices is expected to grow up to 1,287,600 million yen, which is 8 times larger than the 2008 figure. The market size of wind power generation plants is expected to grow up to 249,000 million yen, which is 4 times larger than the 2008 figure, and the growth expectation of lithium-ion batteries is up to 600,600 million yen, which is 14 times larger than the 2008 figure. With regards to charging stations and geothermal power generation plants, their market sizes were small in 2008 but they are predicted to grow up to 148,000 million yen and 78,400 million yen, respectively, by 2020. New energy business is expected to grow up to 2,431,100 million yen, which is 32 times larger than in 2008.”

A 40MW–40MWh energy storage system is huge compared with others that have been installed, which typically are several megawatt-hours in capacity.

Image Credit: Toshiba

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