Solar farm fitted with batteries to fulfill grid output control needs browses the web in Japan

Jul 7, 2020 06:57 PM ET
  • One of the first large-scale solar farms in Japan so far to be geared up with battery storage space in order to fulfill the demands of a neighborhood grid operator as well as energy, has been completed on the island of Hokkaido.
Solar farm fitted with batteries to fulfill grid output control needs browses the web in Japan
Image: Softbank

Telecommunications as well as tech business Softbank's tidy energy subsidiary SB Energy and also funding entity Mitsubishi UFJ revealed on 1 July the commissioning of 'Tomatoh Abira Solar Park 2', a 64.6 MW solar farm which is combined with 19MWh of onsite battery power storage space.

In Japan, the transmission and also distribution networks are run by 10 separate regional energies. Under the legislations governing renewable energy, energies need to purchase output from renewable energy centers with the feed-in tariff (FiT) system that was introduced in 2012.

However problems over grid constraints indicated that Hokkaido Electric Power (HEPCO) and others have actually suggested that restricted grid capacity implies either reducing electricity from solar from going onto the grid or in many cases a halt to new job growth. Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan's primary inhabited islands and has restricted interconnection with Honshu, the following island down - which is where the majority of the country's significant cities consisting of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are to be located.

HEPCO therefore introduced technical demands in April 2015 that power generation tools be fitted with means to reduce output fluctuations. Solar generation companies are consequently in charge of selecting as well as fitting tools and control systems and also strategies to do so. SB Energy as well as Mitsubishi selected to utilize a lithium-ion battery power storage space system for the project, which is on land possessed by a farming producer and is thought about to be the largest such solar PV project with a battery in Japan so far.

Some residential solar clients are starting to furnish their houses with batteries for 2 major reasons in Japan: the first being the hazard of quakes and also other natural calamities during which residences with the ability to backup their power may benefit, the second being that the solar PV market for homes (and likewise businesses) is relocating in the direction of a design based on higher levels of self-consumption and also away from feed-in tariff designs.

Nevertheless, battery storage space growth at the large-scale end of the market has actually not yet prevailed, with many resources commenting that expenses are still considered expensive for storing big quantities of solar energy. There is not yet a market framework either for supplying ancillary services to the grid, which is typically the very first order of services batteries often tend to be most affordable and matched to supplying as well as is where the development of grid energy storage begins in many brand-new markets.

The market is anticipated to open up in the coming 3 to four years however to date, Japan's biggest battery storage space system is a 60MWh flow battery demo job installed in HEPCO solution territory as well as constructed by Sumitomo Electric. Today, Alex O'Cinneide, CEO at Gore Street Capital, an investment company which runs an openly noted energy storage space investment fund in the UK developing front-of-meter battery storage assets, informed our sibling website Solar Power Portal that Japan is a "very interesting market" to his fund, which has a number of Japanes critical financiers for its existing UK task profile, consisting of JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation. O'Cinneide claimed that the deregulation of the Japanese market over the following couple of years makes it of passion to the company, alongside it having the exact same features of the UK in regards to the decommissioning of coal, nuclear as well as gas and increasing levels of renewables.

The new Tomatoh Abira Solar Park 2 task started advancement in 2016, as a 50:50 had joint venture by SB Energy as well as Mitsubishi UFJ. The nuclear power plant's outcome to the grid in its first year of procedure will be around 71.477 MWh/year. It joins the very first stage of the project, which was 111MW ability as well as completed in 2015. The job companions have actually worked together on other solar farms in Japan prior to and also in 2018 began growth work with a Hokkaido plant with a larger battery storage space system (102.3 MW of solar with 27MWh of battery storage space). SB Energy stated in its release concerning the Hokkaido job that it will continue to aim to spread and expand renewable energy sources, including Mega-solar (Japanese term for large-scale solar PV) while Mitsubishi UFJ claimed it positions the renewable resource company as one of its emphasis areas as well as will certainly continue to deal with its partners and also customers in the field.

SB Energy likewise said prior to completion of June that it will certainly step up its tasks in virtual nuclear power plant (VPP) demo projects in Japan, having actually been designated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade as well as Industry (METI) - which sets policies around the power service - to function as a collector in forthcoming projects including making use of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and also various other distributed energy resources. SB Energy has actually been associated with VPP trials because 2016, the company stated, and the technology set, where several dispersed power sources such as solar and batteries are incorporated to do duties commonly executed by centralised generation devices, is another area Japan is targeting for additional development in the coming years.

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