New deal demonstrates solution to China wind/grid issues
In its first China deal A123 is supplying a 500kW energy storage solution to demonstrate how its can be used to address the challenge surrounding reliable electricity from the vital wind industry.
China's installed wind power has doubled every year for the past five years and overtook the United States to be the world's largest in 2010. The industry has, however, been stymied by a lack of grid infrastructure to connect its windiest regions in the country's remote north and northwest with its energy-hungry cities in eastern and central China.
According to a State Grid Corporation of China white paper earlier in the year, 29.56 GW of wind capacity was grid-connected by the end of 2010, while the China Wind Energy Association says China had 44.7 GW of installed wind capacity, meaning more than a third was not grid-connected.
But the story is even worse than that. Part of the reason so much wind capacity is not grid-connected is because of issues with low-voltage ride through (LVRT). An LVRT capability means the turbines being able to cope with the stresses of fast rises and drops in voltage, allowing the power grid to maintain a consistent flow of electricity.
A recent report from the State Electricity Regulatory Commission documented the fact that many of the wind farms already connected to the grid have no or little LVRT capability. This has caused power supply problems but retrofitting older systems is costly and difficult.
The sort of battery solution that Dongfang Electric is testing can overcome many problems associated with feeding into the national grid and evening out power in smaller private grids.
"We believe that China represents a significant market opportunity for our advanced energy storage technology, especially as a solution to addressing the LVRT and ramp-management problems standing in the way of the country's aggressive plans for wind power deployment," said Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123.
A123's system is based on Nanophosphate lithium-ion energy storage.