BYD Company (1211.HK), which is probably known best for its famous investor, Warren Buffet, announced it's finished construction on what "may be the world's largest battery energy storage station."
Although BYD makes electric cars and produces 1 gigawatt of solar panels a year, Buffet mostly invested in the company because of its energy storage technology.
That technology is being deployed to back up a large utility-scale project in China's Zhangbei, Hebei Province. The size of a football field, a battery bank provides 36 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage for a 140 megawatt wind and solar plant that's also integrated with a smart grid transmission system.
The $500 million plant combines 100MW of wind and 40MW of solar. BYD says linking energy storage to a smart grid improves renewable energy efficiency by 5%-10%.
State Grid Corporation of China, which built the renewable energy plant, chose BYD's Iron-Phosphate battery technology because of its superior service life (over 20 years) and also used BYD's "peak shaving & load leveling" charge and discharge methodologies, says BYD.
"The large-scale implementation of green energy can only be realized when the technical difficulties of this new energy application in the utility system are resolved," says Xiu Binglin, Deputy Director of China's National Energy Administration. "This State Grid project demonstrates a solution and will be the model of development for China's new energy resources."
BYD uses the energy storage technology in its electric vehicles and electric buses. It's developing a grid-scale 5-10 MW battery storage unit for the Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power (LADWP) to store energy at its Pine Tree Wind Farm in the Tehachapi Mountains.
We recently reported on a 32 MW energy storage system that's online in West Virginia and it's increasingly being used at concentrating solar plants, such as the deal Brightsource
BYD Company emerged from relative obscurity when Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway spent $231 million for a 10% stake in September 2008. Founded by China's wealthiest man, BYD is the world's largest producer of rechargeable batteries and a major car manufacturer in China.
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