Brief

Flow battery developer to build world's largest battery storage system

Dive Brief:

  • UniEnergy Technologies and Rongke Power plan to deploy one of the biggest energy storage facility, an 800 MWh flow battery, in the Dalian peninsula in northern China.

  • When commissioned, the Vanadium Flow battery will provide peak-shaving and enhance grid stabilization.

  • UniEnergy anticipates even more storage capacity in the future to facilitate additional intermittent renewable energy deployment in the region.

Dive Insight:

As technical advances drive flow batteries closer to commercialization, what appears to be the largest flow battery in the world is being prepared for deployment in China.

The China National Energy Administration has approved the application of Rongke Power's vanadium flow batteries into the utility grid based on competitive pricing and lack of emissions, as well as demonstrated longevity and operational flexibility.

Rongke Power is deplying the batteries with its strategic partner and affiliate, UniEnergy Technologies (UET). The battery arrays’ deployed will comprise up to 10 20 MW/80 MWh VFB systems.

Rongke Power is a vertically integrated manufacturer of vanadium flow batteries jointly founded by Dalian Bolong Holding Group and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics-Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008. Rongke is based in the Dalian High-Tech Zone in Dalian, China.

The collaboration between UET and Rongke Power will be memorialized in a US-China EcoPartnership signing ceremony attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Beijing on June 7.

During extreme weather events the Dalian peninsula has experienced stress on its electricity grid. After full commissioning, the VFB batteries will be able to peak shave approximately 8% of Dalian's expected load in 2020. In addition, the batteries will form an additional load center, which will enhance grid stabilization including securing the power supply and providing black-start capabilities in the event of emergency.

"This visionary project is a watershed moment for the energy storage industry, vaulting China's electric grid into the 21st century, supplying tremendous resilience and enabling seamless deep penetration of renewable energy,” Rick Winter, UET’s president and COO, said in a statement.

The batteries will be built at Rongke Power's new GigaFactory to be opened in the fall of 2016, with a phase 1 capacity of 300 MW of VFB electrode stacks, a phase 2 capacity of 1GW, and a phase 3 capacity of 3GW. Both Rongke Power and UET's deployments of VFB systems will be supported by production from Rongke Power's GigaFactory.

Late last year UET secured $25 million in venture capital funding a capital round led by Orix of Japan and Bolong Holding, which is also an investor in Rongke Power.

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Filed Under: Generation Energy Storage Distributed Energy
Top image credit: PLP Architecture