Japan’s Sumitomo to deploy used EV batteries as storage for solar farm

A large scale storage facility that will be attached to a solar farm in Japan is about to test the theory that re-used batteries can offer an effective, and cheap, battery storage solution.

A joint venture led by Japanese industrial giant Sumitomo is deploying 16 lithium-ion batteries, pre-used in the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, to provide a 600kW/400kWh storage system alongside a 10MW solar farm on Yume-Shima island in Osaka.

There is a theory in the battery storage industry that batteries used in EVs can be redeployed in stationary energy systems, thereby contributing to a sharp cut in battery storage, a technology that is hailed as the next “game changer” after the rapid growth (and cost falls) in solar PV.

The Chinese car maker BYD is looking to deploy batteries used in its electric vehicles in home energy and commercial storage systems, while research in the Netherlands suggests that batteries can be successfully redeployed in home and commercial storage even after their “operating radius” has fallen 20-30 per cent and they become less interesting for EVs.

“We are pleased to be a part of such an important verification project that can both utilize used EV batteries, and provide a large-scale power storage facility, which are important issues that need to be addressed for the future of renewable energy,” said Norihiko Nonaka, the head of Sumitomo’s battery storage division.

Top image: Nissan Leaf battery by Norsk Elbilforening, via Wikipedia.

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