Sumitomo in Osaka storage project

Sumitomo this month will start running the world’s first energy storage system made from used electric-vehicle batteries to regulate electricity generated by a 10MW solar plant in Osaka.

The project, developed by 4R Energy – a Sumitomo venture with Nissan Motor that is reusing lithium-ion batteries – is part of a test under Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (MoE) to expand the development of renewable resources.

The system will be used for three years to monitor fluctuations in electricity generated by a solar array on reclaimed land in Yumeshima, Osaka, Sumitomo said in an online statement, without disclosing further details.

Last August, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) selected group company Sumitomo Electric Industries to provide a large-scale storage battery for an electrical substation on the island of Hokkaido.

The vanadium redox flow battery system, which will offer 60MWh of storage capacity, will help regulate and expand transmission of solar and wind power.

Last April, METI revealed plans to install what it described as the world’s largest battery bank, to stabilise the flow of wind and solar power into the grid.