Landis+Gyr and Toshiba will deliver the largest energy storage system of its kind in the Nordics. Helen Ltd, a major energy utility in Finland, will use the 1.2 MW Toshiba Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in a pilot to test the capabilities of battery energy storage in the smart grid environment – and develop new business models around it.
Helen subsidiary, the Helen Electricity Network and Finnish grid operator, Fingrid, will explore potential opportunities enabled by megawatt-scale storage during the pilot. The central goal of the project is two fold. First, it will study and test optimal timings for loading and unloading stored energy to the grid. Second, it will investigate market-based pricing and business models for stored energy. BESS will be installed on a site adjacent to the Suvilahti solar power plant, in Helsinki’s Kalasatama District, as part of a smart community project Helen is developing. It will be ready for commercial operation in May 2016.
Selection of the battery supplier involved an intensive tendering process. Helen opted for a Toshiba system from Landis+Gyr because these batteries offer proven technology at a competitive price/quality ratio. Additional important decision criteria were the design’s fast charging/discharging capability and the long lifetime of its battery modules. Importantly, the focus of the project is not on testing the energy storage technology, but rather on its application in a smart grid environment.
Improved grid stability through BESS usage
The integration of distributed energy resources coming from renewable generation into existing distribution networks is technically challenging. Traditionally electricity distribution grid is designed and operated to ensure that power flows from higher-voltage to lower-voltage networks. However, the connection and operation of significant distributed energy resources alter many network characteristics and new tools are required to maintain the grid stability in a dynamic environment. In many cases, BESS provides a solution to these challenges.
The system has an output of 1.2 MW and energy capacity of 677kWh. In addition to the battery system, which contains more than 13,000 lithium-ion SCiB™ battery cells, the delivery includes a Master Control System, two power inverters, and a transformer. Toshiba Japan will supply the battery modules and Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems in Italy, where the European Center of Excellence of the Toshiba Group for Storage and Smart Grid systems is based, will manage the delivery.