Japan Invests in World's Biggest Battery Bank to Store Solar Energy

Japan is installing so much solar that it could strain the grid.

To deal with that, the government will spend $204 million on the world’s largest battery bank to stabilize the flow of solar energy.

This is the first battery bank of this size to be installed at a utility substation. Capable of storing 60 megawatt hours of energy, it will be operational by early 2015.

It will be on the island of Hokkaido where inexpensive land is attracting many solar projects. 

In February, the government announced it will invest $33 billion into grid modernization and development over the next 10 years, particularly to spur the growth of wind energy.

Since Japan’s feed-in law took effect in July, 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of renewables have been added, almost all of that solar.

And 7.6 GW have been approved: 5.74 GW of non-residential solar; 958 MW of
residential solar; and 570 MW of wind, with the remainder in biomass and geothermal.

Japan will likely be the world’s second biggest solar market this year, after China.

As of 2012, Japan has 26.9 GW of renewable energy, a third of that solar, according to
Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


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