U.S., Japanese energy firms complete Distribution Microgrid in California

April 14, 2022
The demonstration is aimed at improving grid quality and achieving deliverables, like the establishment of a microgrid, a Redox Flow Battery (RF Battery) and multi-use operation in emergency situations

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has worked with Sumitomo Electric Industries to complete a demonstration project in San Diego.

The demonstration is aimed at improving grid quality and achieving deliverables, like the establishment of a microgrid, a Redox Flow Battery (RF Battery) and multi-use operation in emergency situations. The hope is to replicate the results elsewhere, such as microgrids with solar and wind power and 100% renewable energy supply for islands where the use of power generator fuels can be expensive.

Sumitomo Electric was commissioned in September 2015 for the demonstration project, using RF batteries, which ensure no degradation due to charging or discharging.

In 2021, the firm decided to demonstrate the operation of a microgrid at the project. The microgrid with an 8-MWh VRF battery successfully supplied electricity to 66 residential customers as a standalone power source. The battery ensured reliable supply as it could stabilize the voltage and frequency of the distribution lines by charging/discharging the power required to sustain supply-demand balance.

The project also helped verify that the profitability in electricity market transactions can be improved by using the flexible bidding algorithm and leveraging the benefits of the RF battery.