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Northern Japanese solar farms to get utility-scale battery storage

LG Chem will supply batteries for one of the two projects announced in Hokkaido in the past week. Image: Green Power Development Company of Japan.
Two large-scale solar plants planned for the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido will be paired with utility-scale energy storage, in order to meet regulations set out by the region’s electricity authority.

According to the tech pages of Japanese newspaper Nikkei, one will be a 38.1MW (25MW grid-connected) PV plant with 10MWh/20MW of battery storage being commissioned by Green Power Development Company of Japan, using Jinko Solar PV panels and LG Chem batteries. Construction last week. The project is slated for completion in August 2018 and will receive ¥40 per kWh (US$0.39) from the feed-in tariff (FiT).

The other, a 28MW solar farm, will be equipped with a 17MW battery system and 28MW of solar inverters from Swiss engineering firm ABB and began construction in April. It is expected to be completed by the second half of next year. This latter project is partly financed by Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) and a Japan-based professional engineering services company, Energy Products Co Ltd. This project is expected to cost more than ¥11 billion (US$107 million).   

Solar PV plants larger than 2MW on the island are required to install battery storage and control output fluctuations to stringent proportions of the PV inverters' output in order to obtain grid connections by Hokkaido Electric Power Company (HEPCO).

ABB launches microgrid solution

ABB also today announced the launch of a modular, scalable microgrid solution for distributed power generation, including increased adoption of renewables. The company called it a “plug and play” system, pairing ABB’s PowerStore Battery and its Microgrid Plus control system. The whole system is containerised to also include power converters in one unit, and is available in four different sizes ranging from 50kW to 4,600kW. A cloud-based operations and maintenance service is available for the units from ABB. The systems can be grid-connected or used off-grid.

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