SDG&E announces new flow-battery pilot project with Sumitomo Electric

Written By: Stratton Report
March 16, 2017

Sdge

On March 16, SDG&E announced a new pilot project involved a new 2-MW vanadium redox flow battery in coordination with Sumitomo Electric.

According to the utility, the project stemmed from a partnership between Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Development Organization and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

During the four-year demonstration project, SDG&E notes it will be researching if flow battery technology can economically enhance the delivery of reliable energy to customers, integrate growing amounts of renewable energy and increase the flexibility in the way the company manages the power grid.

Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief operating officer observed:

SDG&E is continuously at the forefront of delivering clean energy solutions and championing innovative technologies to assess the long-term benefits for our customers. This pilot will advance our understanding of how this flow battery technology can help us increase the reliable delivery of clean energy to our customers and align with state and local carbon emission reduction goals.

Per SDG&E, flow battery systems have an expected life-span of more than 20 years, and could have less degradation over time from repeated charging cycles than other technologies. SDG&E will be testing voltage frequency, power outage support and shifting energy demand.

Junji Itoh, managing director of Sumitomo Electric remarked: “We are delighted to see our first flow battery system operating in the U.S.  through the multiple-use operation of the battery system in SDG&E’s distribution network, we would like to prove its economic value and potential use on the electric grids.”

Sid Voorakkara, Deputy Director for External Affairs at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development commented: “California continues to lead the nation when it comes to growing the economy and decreasing emissions. GO-Biz is proud to partner with NEDO to bring this demonstration project to life and increase opportunities for economic growth powered by renewable energy.”

To date, SDG&E claims approximately 100 MW of energy storage projects completed or contracted.