French battery manufacturer and designer Saft has been contracted to supply a 1MW/3MWh lithium-ion storage system at an educational facility in California, aimed at mitigating the impact of variable solar generation.
Installed at the unnamed educational facility in four containers, the energy storage system will “moderate the effects of shade” on the rooftop PV system by “shifting energy and buffering during intermittent sunlight”, according to Saft. The company has also recently installed similar projects aimed at integrating renewables for island territories of Hawaii and La Reunion, as well as scaling up its lithium-ion battery production in Germany for the country's domestic energy storage market.
The contract was awarded to Saft by a California utility company, which has not yet been named. Along with two previous, similar storage contracts that Saft has been awarded, the project will make a small contribution to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) mandate AB2514, which calls for investor-owned utilities to install 1.3GW of storage by 2020. In total, Saft has supplied 7.5MWh of battery capability to the utility since its first 1,500kWh project went in online in 2012.
Chris Edgette, senior director of the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) and a consultant on strategy, recently told PV Tech that forward-thinking legislature and industry activity in the state could yield lessons that could be learned by other regions, in a similar way to how California led much of the US in solar development in the past.
“If we can get these issues through in California it makes it much easier in other markets,” Edgette said.
“…In California [for example], we saw that the California Energy Commission put out, with the California Solar Initiative, a list of approved panels and inverters and they spent a lot of time saying ‘this inverter is rated in this way’ and so on. And we [then] saw other states using that same system because it was easy and somebody had already done the brain damage! We expect to see the same thing on storage that other utilities will say ‘oh ok, this is now how it’s settled out, here’s the model that makes sense to us and it’s sorted’ and that’s really what we hope will happen.”
The full version of this story can be read on the PV Tech Storage site.