China claims ‘world’s largest battery storage station’

China has earned first-place status in the energy world yet again, this time by completing what it says is the “world’s largest battery energy storage station.”

Built in conjunction with a 140-megawatt wind- and solar-energy project in Zhangbei, Hebei Province, the station — with arrays of batteries larger than a football field — will provide up to 36 megawatt-hours of energy storage, along with a smart power transmission system. The $500-million phase-one project is designed to help stabilize the electricity grid by storing renewably generated power to manage the ups and downs of intermittent wind and solar sources.

Combining wind and solar power with battery-based energy storage system helps to improve renewable energy efficiency by 5 to 10 percent, according to BYD, the China-based technology giant that manufactures advanced iron-phosphate batteries, electric vehicles and solar panels. While other systems around the world generate clean energy on a similar scale, no other installation offers nearly as much battery capacity, BYD added.

The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) enlisted BYD’s help for the energy storage system so it could transfer “vast amounts of renewable electricity safely to the grid on an unprecedented scale.”

The project is the first of many megawatt-level developments planned in cooperation with China’s Southern Power Grid. It’s part of a national “Golden Sun” program aimed at massively expanding the domestic solar energy base.

“The large-scale implementation of clean and green energy, such as wind and solar power, can only be realized when the technical difficulties of this new energy application in the utility system are resolved,” said Xiu Binglin, Deputy Director of the National Energy Administration. “This State Grid project demonstrates a solution and will be the model of development for China’s new energy resources.”

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