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  • METI Selected Successful Applicants that will Introduce Large-scale Storage Batteries into Electricity Grid Substations and Commit to Expanding the Introduction of Renewable Energy

Agency for Natural Resources and EnergyMETI Selected Successful Applicants that will Introduce Large-scale Storage Batteries into Electricity Grid Substations and Commit to Expanding the Introduction of Renewable Energy

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) called for applicants for the FY2012 Large-scale Storage Battery System Demonstration Project, and decided to select Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc. and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc., as successful applicants who will carry out the project.

In response to this decision, on July 31, 2013, METI Minister Toshimitsu Motegi visited one of the selected companies to see the large-scale storage batteries for electricity grids (redox flow batteries), which are scheduled to be introduced in the Hokkaido area, and he also requested the successful applicants to make the maximum efforts so as to make the project a success.

1. Outline of the project

METI will thoroughly examine the installation and utilization of such large-scale storage batteries in electricity grid substations as bulk power grids of the utility companies to see to what extent the amount of renewable energy can be increased for introduction, as well as developing and establishing the technology to optimally control and manage such batteries, considering the operational needs and conditions of the grids as a whole.

This project is Japan’s first effort to introduce large-scale storage batteries in electricity grids, and METI aims to rapidly acquire the necessary technology and know-how so as to utilize such batteries in electricity grids in a specific manner.

2. Selection of successful applicants

From April 3 to 24, 2013, the New Energy Promotion Council (NEPC), which is an organizer of the project, called for applicants for the project, and the third committee of experts examined them carefully. Based on the examination, METI selected two successful applicants to carry out the project, two themes respectively, namely; measures for dealing with frequency variation and measures for adjusting the supply-demand balance in cases of demand decrease.

3. Successful applicants

The followings are the outline of the projects submitted by the successful applicants:

Theme Operator Types of battery Capacity Location for installation
1) Demonstration theme A: Measures for dealing with frequency variation Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. Lithium-ion battery 20,000 kWh Nishisendai substation
2) Demonstration theme B: Measures for adjusting the supply-demand balance in cases of demand decrease and dealing with frequency variation Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (jointly applied for the project) Redox flow battery 60,000 kWh Minamihayakita substation
  1. Demonstration theme A: Measures for dealing with frequency variation utilizing lithium-ion batteries

    Tohoku Electric Power will install the world’s largest large-scale storage batteries (lithium-ion batteries; 20,000 kWh) in an electricity grid substation (Nishisendai substation) as part of a bulk power grid system. The company will examine how well the batteries function to see whether or not they are able to adjust frequency to address the variation of electricity output generated by wind and photovoltaic power generation. Specifically, it will also study potential operational approaches in which the batteries are coordinated to operate with thermal power generation while utilizing the batteries as much as possible as a function to adjust frequency, suppressing the impact on the life of the battery system. Based on the results of the project, the company will boost the capacity of the supply-demand adjustment function by around 10% in the Tohoku area and endeavor to expand the introduction of renewable energy.

  2. Demonstration theme B: Measures for dealing with the variation of electricity supply-demand balance in a multipurpose fashion utilizing redox flow batteries

    Hokkaido Electric Power and Sumitomo Electric Industries will jointly install the world’s largest large-scale storage batteries (redox flow batteries; 60,000 kWh) in an electricity grid substation (Minamihayakita substation) as part of a bulk power grid system. They will endeavor to examine how well the batteries function in addressing the variation of electricity output generated by wind and photovoltaic power generation and also to develop technology to optimally control and manage the battery system. A redox flow battery can be utilized not only to address frequency variation but also to adjust the electricity supply-demand balance in case of demand decrease as well as cope with fluctuations in supply-demand balances over a long period of time. Based on the results of the project, both companies will aim to boost the capacity of the supply-demand adjustment function by around 10%. They will endeavor to cooperate with each other and unify the technology and know-how they have so as to expand the introduction of renewable energy into the Hokkaido area.

Release Date

July 31, 2013

Division in Charge

New and Renewable Energy Division, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Related Information

Renewable Energy
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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