Toshiba to build 40MWh Li-ion battery system for Tohoku Electric

Toshiba has agreed to provide utility Tohoku Electric Power with a 40MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) to regulate and expand transmission of electricity generated by solar and wind projects.

It has already started building the system, which will feature its SCiB lithium-ion batteries, at Tohoku Electric’s Minami-Soma substation in Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan.

It did not reveal the terms of the deal.

The Tokyo-based group claims that the project will be one of the biggest lithium-ion storage banks in the country once it is completed in late February 2016.

“Toshiba will continue to expand its BESS business in the global market and promote the growth of large-scale BESS,” it said in an online statement, noting its joint BESS project with Spanish utility GasNatural Fenosa (GNF) and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in suburban Madrid.

In November 2013, it announced plans to supply a 20MWh lithium-ion battery storage system for a trial project Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, under Tohoku Electric.

Japan’s storage market has expanded rapidly in recent years.

In the summer of 2013, power equipment manufacturer Sumitomo Electric Industries agreed to supply Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) with a 60MWh battery system on the northern island of Hokkaido.

In February 2015, French battery manufacturer Saft and a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power announced plans to build a containerised lithium-ion battery system south of Tokyo on the remote volcanic island of Niijima, as part of a five-year microgrid demonstration project.

Earlier this year, a consortium under Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (MOE) also announced plans to use surplus electricity generated by a floating wind turbine in Nagasaki prefecture/ to launch a hydrogen-storage demonstration project.