Grid Scale, Storage

Flow Battery Storage Pilot Project Begins in California

San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) last week said it has launched a 2-MW vanadium redox flow (VRF) battery storage pilot project in coordination with Sumitomo Electric (SEI).

The utility said that the four-year demonstration project will help determine if flow battery technology can economically enhance the delivery of reliable energy to customers, integrate growing amounts of renewable energy to the power grid and give the utility flexibility in how it manages the grid.

According to SDG&E, VRF batteries 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.

“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,” Junji Itoh, managing director of Sumitomo Electric, said.

SDG&E said that it has approximately 100 MW of energy storage projects completed or contracted.