Saft was chosen by SOLON Corporation, a provider of utility-scale and commercial photovoltaic (PV) system solutions to the North American market , to provide a Li-ion battery for their Energy Storage Management Research and Testing (SMRT) site. The design and construction of the site will be managed by SOLON, in conjunction with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE) at the University of Arizona.
The project is a collaborative testing ground researching both the reliability and applicability of integrating various energy storage technologies, partnered with PV systems, on the grid. Ultimately, the goal is to provide utilities with greater control of their respective renewable portfolios.
Saft's state-of-the-art Li-ion battery will provide various grid-support services, including reducing renewable output power volatility, optimizing renewable power performance and VAR support, among other functions. Deliveries for the 2 year project are set to begin end of 2011.
Located at the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park in Tucson, the SMRT site will be attached to a 1.6 megawatt solar plant developed by SOLON. Saft's battery will work in conjunction with SMA America's utility-grade power management solution, which is based on its Sunny Central and Sunny Island solar inverter technology. "Storage for renewable energy will be essential for utilities, as they increase the penetration of clean energy generation into the utilities' grids," said William Richardson, Director of Research & Development for SOLON Corporation. "By testing different types of storage methods and technologies such as lithium-ion batteries under various environmental conditions, our intelligence will provide utilities with precise guidance on the correct storage solution for them, as well as an integrated PV system."