The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market

World’s largest sodium-ion BESS comes online in China as it seeks to diversify away from lithium

LinkedIn
Twitter
Reddit
Facebook
Email

The first phase of the world’s largest sodium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS), in China, has come online.

The first 50MW/100MWh portion of the project in Qianjiang, Hubei province has been completed and put into operation, state-owned media outlet Yicai Global and technology provider HiNa Battery said this week.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Enjoy 12 months of exclusive analysis

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Annual digital subscription to the PV Tech Power journal
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Its capacity will eventually be doubled to 100MW/200MWh, but is almost certain to already be the largest sodium-ion project in the world, as claimed in both announcements. It comprises 42 BESS containers containing 185Ah sodium-ion batteries, 21 power conversion system (PCS) units and a 110kV booster station.

As Energy-Storage.news reported when covering the project in January, it is being developed and operated by Datang Hubei Energy Development, part of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC). Its deployment is part of a national-level effort to build large-scale storage projects using non-lithium technologies.

Sodium-ion: high potential but bumpy road to commercialisation

The technology is generally seen as the battery chemistry most well-placed to commercialise at scale and ease supply chain bottlenecks around lithium-ion, the dominant battery chemistry for both electric vehicles (EVs) and BESS applications. Part of this is a similar design making it easier to ‘drop in’ to lithium-ion production lines.

Sodium-ion has a lower energy density and, because of lower scale, generally a higher cost than lithium-ion, although by 2025 it could already be 15-30% cheaper than lithium-ion according to BYD. However, commercialisation and cost reductions have come slower than expected, Yicai Global said.

Technically it also has some advantages according to HiNa Battery. One is a better round-trip efficiency (RTE) and cycle lifetime at extreme temperatures. They also perform much better than general batteries in acupuncture and impact-resistance tests, the project manager said.

Energy-Storage.news has been told anecdotally that one reason China is investing so heavily on sodium-ion technology is because of fears that, long-term, it could start to be cut out of the lithium supply chain. China does dominate the supply chain today, both in terms of battery manufacturing and lithium refining, but HiNa’s announcement pointed out that it only has about 6% of the world’s lithium reserves for mining, whereas it has abundant reserves of the minerals for sodium-ion batteries.

HiNa Battery’s general manager Li Shujun has claimed that the a ‘terawatt-hour’ sodium-ion battery industry will gradually form by 2030, Yicai Global added.

Read Next

Premium
July 9, 2024
We hear from industry sources about the reasons for, and implications of, the increasing convergence to the 20-foot, 5MWh+ container as the dominant grid-scale BESS product today.
July 8, 2024
A 100MW/200MWh project using semi-solid batteries has been connected to the grid in Zhejiang, China, reportedly the first project of its scale in the world.
July 5, 2024
The US federal Department of Energy (DOE) will offer up to US$100 million for pilot-scale long-duration energy storage (LDES) projects utilising non-lithium technologies.
Sponsored
July 3, 2024
HyperStrong shares updates on its latest products and international expansion, from the ees / the smart E Europe trade show in Munich, Germany.
June 27, 2024
Trina Storage’s new 10MWh battery storage product is claimed by the company to be the first in the US to include full cell-to-AC system integration from a single vendor.

Most Popular

Email Newsletter