Saft, a designer and manufacturer of high-tech batteries, says it will provide a lithium-ion battery for SOLON Corp.'s 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 and the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy at the University of Arizona.
The project is a collaborative testing ground that researches 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 energy portfolios, Saft explains.
Saft's battery will provide various grid-support services, including reducing renewable output power volatility, optimizing renewable power performance and VAR support, among other functions. Deliveries of the two-year project are set to begin by the end of the year.
Located at the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park in Tucson, the SMRT site will be attached to a 1.6 MW 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," says William Richardson, director of research and development for SOLON." 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."