GE Energy Storage Technologies (NYSE: GE), a unit of GE Transportation recently unveiled its Durathon battery technology for utility companies.
GE says the sodium-based can have an operable life of up to 20 years, providing an alternative to costly new power generation.
Large-scale batteries will play a key role in future smart grids, and GE's battery was developed to support a broad
range of utility-oriented applications, including leveling spikes in peak demand and storing renewable power generated by wind and solar power.
GE says the batteries are well suited for applications in extreme temperature environments because they do not need an expensive controlled environment to deliver peak performance.
GE is investing $150 million in a new battery plant will be located in Schenectady, New York. The plant is expected to create 350 new cleantech jobs in the region.
The facility has the advantage of being in close proximity to GE Global Research in Niskayuna, where researchers will continue to work on enhancements to the battery chemistry and related systems technology.
Saft, ABB Utility-Scale Battery
In a separate announcment, French batter maker Saft, is providing lithium-ion battery technology for a utility-scale energy storage system offered by ABB.
The power storage adds a smart-grid function to ABB's established SVC Light technology.
ABB is targeting the SVC Light with Energy Storage concept at industrial, distribution and
transmission level energy storage applications. It offers an integrated solution for installations that require the continuous voltage control
and frequency regulation essential for grid stability combined with short term power support
to cover load or supply variations.
The SVC Light with Energy Storage will store power from renewable energy sources and
surplus power from the grid in its Saft Li-ion battery system. At times when the level of
renewable power available falls, such as when the wind drops or photovoltaic panels are
obscured by cloud, or whenever a peak in power consumption occurs, the system will inject
the power required to provide controlled ramping and to maintain a stable grid.
Saft said rated power and capacity are typically in the range of 20 MW for minutes to tens of minutes. However, up to 50 MW for 60 minutes and beyond is possible.