Okinawa bets on 2-MW battery to deal with solar boom
Dec 3, 2013 - Utility Okinawa Electric Power Co (TYO:9511) will install a 2-MW lead battery storage facility on the island of Okinawa in an effort to allow the addition of more solar power capacity.
In a statement today the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) explained that the power grid on the island would soon be unable to connect more solar systems exceeding 300 kW in size. The grid infrastructure can bear no more than 57 MW of solar installations, while 50 MW have already been hooked to it. For months the government has been looking for countermeasures and the lead battery system is one of two answers to the situation.
Construction of the battery, which will be used as a demonstration facility for one or two years, will commence in 2014. The system is expected to lift the grid’s capacity for solar by 10%.
METI’s other plan aimed at supporting the local grid involves additional research into grid management and further infrastructure investments among other activities. That project is requiring some JPY 4.4 billion (USD 43m/EUR 32m) in financing.
Last month, METI said that Japan had installed 2,317 MW of renewable energy capacity between April 1, 2013 and July 31, 2013, including 2,243 MW of photovoltaic (PV) power. More and more projects are being developer after the launch of attractive renewable energy feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in July 2012.