16 Nissan LEAFs Batteries Store Solar Farm Energy – Video

MAY 10 2014 BY MARK KANE 10

Storage System Using 16 Old Nissan LEAF Batteries

Storage System Using 16 Old Nissan LEAF Batteries

The construction of a solar farm on the man-made island of Yumeshima in western Japan’s Osaka was announced 3 months ago, but now it seems to be harvesting sunlight with full power.

“Hikari-no-Mori, or “Forest of Light,” is a mega-solar project of 36,000 solar panels built on top of a landfill and managed by Sumitomo Corporation.”

Surplus energy is stored in 16 lithium-ion battery packs taken from Nissan LEAFs.  The storage systems were developed by 4R Energy (Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle), a joint venture between Sumitomo and Nissan.

Reused electric vehicle batteries have power of 600 kW and energy of 400 kWh (400/16 is 25 kWh, so maybe those modules in the energy storage system are brand new?). Anyways, used ones from Nissan EVs will have ~70% (that threshold is typical after 100,000 km or 62,000 miles).

“The batteries have up to 70% of capacity remaining – the average left after 100,000 kilometers or five years of driving.”

Mugihiko Ozeki, Senior Associate, Battery Business Development at Sumitomo, stated:

“This is the Osaka ‘Hikari-no-mori Project’ mega-solar power generation facility, a project with eight other companies. We are testing the system controlling the output of the battery packs that charge the energy generated by this 10-megawatt mega-solar power station, linking the data from the photovoltaic panels in real time.”

Eiji Makino, President of 4R Energy, remarked:

“Depending on use, a battery’s degree and rate of deterioration, and the battery’s condition, vary by vehicle. So 4R has created a technology that allows us to have optimal control in regulating those conditions.”

According to the press release, Sumitomo General Manager Norihiko Nonaka said that such energy storage systems are expected to be commercially viable in five years or so (we heard something similar from Solar City too).

Norihiko Nonaka, Sumitomo General Manager, commented:

“The electricity-value-chain is divided into three sections: electricity generation, transmission and distribution. We would like to focus on electricity generation and transmission. If we rely on renewables to obtain energy, like solar and wind, they don’t always generate the necessary amount of energy and that may cause an issue with supply-and-demand. On the other hand, if the cost of batteries is too high and is economically inefficient, 4R will have to continue to work and investigate the situation and market in the long term, about five years or maybe after 2020. By saving energy into power storage or batteries, our goal is to create a balance in supply versus demand, or create a system with the battery to maintain the quality of the electricity.”

Categories: Nissan


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10 Comments on "16 Nissan LEAFs Batteries Store Solar Farm Energy – Video"

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Projects like this make a lot of sense, it you consider that any EV can last virtually forever if you replace the battery every 100000 miles or so.

And it is great if we find ways to reuse the old batteries, rather than dumping them somewhere.


I wonder if used air cooled batteries will have advantages over used liquid cooled batteries in this power plant application. Also, does Nissan see itself in the battery business setting the price for these, or is Nissan just in the auto business? It would be nice to have more tags for vehicle to grid and used battery to grid applications and technology.

I read somewhere that Nissan can now recycle approximately 97% of the material from a Leaf battery… no need for dumping.

Recycle beats dumping, but re-use is even better.

Wait, what? I thought Tesla was the only company that could do this, dominating the market.

I am not sure if you are being sarcastic so I thought I’d mention that mostly this is nothing new solar city were mentioned in the article but I believe GE, GM, Ford, BMW are all doing stuff around 2nd life for EV batteries. The are even those looking at laptops and mobile phones.

IMO this is a fantastic idea and I personally support it as strongly as I possibly can. This and grid integration of EV’s (i.e. pulling charge in and out of the battery while it is connected) are 2 massive bonuses to EVs vs combustion engines. If we can get 2nd life off the ground then it would be great as it would mean that the value of 2nd hand EV’s would have a hard bottom leading to all sorts of exciting new business models for car ownership.

“Reused electric vehicle batteries have power of 600 kW and energy of 400 kWh (400/16 is 25 kWh…)”

One of the containers in the video appears to contain 12 Nissan LEAF battery packs. If the other matches, that would make 24 battery packs. (400/24 is 17kWh ~= 70% of new pack capacity)

The video mentions this is a 10MW solar installation. There must be a grid to suck up most of that energy, because 24 Leaf batteries will max out around 1MW and fill up very quickly.

Well . . . the tragedy of Fukushima at least has an upside . . . it got Japan off their butts when it comes to installing alternate energy.