Japanese technology provider, Sumitomo Electric, has energised a 17 MW/51 MWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) energy storage system in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido
The project has been commissioned on schedule and will help integrate local wind energy into the grid. In 2015, Sumitomo Electric also commissioned the 15 MW/60 MWh VRFB project in Hokkaido. VRFBs offer a potentially long lifetime energy storage resource, capable of heavy duty cycling for more than 20 years in the field. They also offer the ability to scale up energy storage capacity simply by increasing the size of liquid electrolyte tanks, unlike lithium batteries, which need to add more cell stacks and more balance of plant equipment as they add capacity. VRFBs are also considered to be safer than other batteries, due to their operation at room temperature and lack of combustible materials used in their construction. The new system will support the grid-side and has been installed by Hokkaido Electric at its Minami-Hayarai substation.