Koshiki Islands in Japan To Get Large-Scale Power Storage Facilities

NOV 16 2014 BY MARK KANE 6

2013 Nissan LEAF Battery Pack

2013 Nissan LEAF Battery Pack

Satsumasendai City in Japan and Sumitomo Corporation announced a large-scale project for reused batteries from electric vehicles.

Two power storage facilities will be installed at the Koshiki Islands next year to strengthen local grid and promote renewable energy.

“For small-scale electric power grids on remote islands, an introduction of intermittent weather-dependent renewable energy systems on a large scale will damage the balance of electric power supply and demand, and at times even cause power outages. Therefore, renewable energy systems need to be widely extended to remote islands which will entail the installation of power storage systems and other measures.”

“In this EV battery systems project, Satsumasendai City and Sumitomo will implement and validate a “local government model project” that will establish a low-cost business model utilizing economically-efficient reused EV battery systems which are set up through local government initiatives that puts in place the access infrastructure to tap into renewable energy. By proving the project’s economic viability, this model will promote to enforce the access capability for introducing renewable energy on a sustainable basis.”

Additionally, the project includes installation of solar power systems at two evacuation facilities on the Koshiki Islands that can be used in the case of disasters and other emergencies.

Batteries will be supplied by 4R Energy Corporation (a joint venture company founded by Sumitomo Corporation and Nissan Motor Corporation). One of the system will store up to 600 kWh of energy, which according to the press release will comes from 36 EVs (Nissan LEAFs).

Reference1 : [Facilities installed in the project]

Installation location



Start of facility

Evacuation Area 1

Large-scale reused
EV batteries

Capacity: approx. 600kWh

(equivalent to 36 EVs)

September 2015

Solar power

Output: approx. 100kW

Evacuation Area 2

Reused EV batteries

Capacity: approx. 17kWh

(equivalent to one EVs)

Solar power

Output: approx. 10kW

Categories: General, Nissan

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6 Comments on "Koshiki Islands in Japan To Get Large-Scale Power Storage Facilities"

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My personal experience on various islands is that this could be a terrific plan.
Power outages are so frequent as to be a yawn, barely even remarkable (sitting at the bar, enjoying your beverage and talking, power goes out and all the ‘tourists’ are looking around and surprised, the locals don’t miss a beat in their sentence. Truth).
Add the fact that all ICE are working themselves to a frazzle traveling roads that go straight Up.. then turning discs red hot as they go straight Down, and you have some of the most expensive to own/maintain vehicles on the planet.
EV, charged overnight, torque for uphill, regen downhill, -seem- like a perfect match and a blessing.
That said, the local power companies tend to be owned/managed by leftovers from feudal society, so unknown whether they would embrace the change.
On one Caribbean island that we visit, grid-solar is illegal – you must ask for permission and it is summarily denied. Personal solar -can- be done, but is usually ‘found’ and the owner ‘encouraged’ to dismantle it if they want their grid power to continue (there Are of course, ‘ways’ around that).

Islands are crazy if they refuse grid-tied solar PV. It may seem clever to them now because it forces people to remain customers. But it causes dissent and when solar PV + storage is cheap enough, people are going to abandon the grid in droves leading to an even worse situation for them.

The need to find an acceptable compromise. Perhaps a $10/month ‘connection fee’ for grid tied users.

It is not just remote islands, but all utilities will suffer enormously due to roof-top solar power + storage. Roof-top solar power saturates the grid during daylight hours. And this makes the business case for high capital cost non-hydro baseload generation unprofitable, because it is not possible to make up the day time financial losses with night time generation. Because if nightly electricity rates are raised, people just stop usings electricity on nights or they invest on even more battery storage. Therefore the financial demise of utilies is unavoidable because lots of capital invested on baseload generation will lose its value. Today roof-top solar + storage has reached parity with grid electricity e.g. in Germany, Italy and Australia, where the cost of grid power is high. And it does not take that many years that parity is reached globally market by market. When used EV batteries are starting to fill the markets, it is very easy to see that battery storage problem for roof-top solar systems is already solved. This solution has about 15 year lag. So even if we do not assume any development of battery technology — highly unlikely scenario — utilities has only about 15 years time… Read more »

[i]”This solution has about 15 year lag.”[/i]

Much less for LEAF batteries 🙂

Yes, the ‘utility death spiral’ is a real thing. I don’t think the end game will be death though, instead we’ll just change the rules around a bit and maybe have the government help support the grid.

After all, the grid really is an important public good. The best went to balance all the renewables is with a common grid instead of everyone trying to install expensive local storage. The way to deal with the intermittency issues is with a grid, source diversity, geographic diversity, demand-response, smart-grid, peaker plants, and some grid storage.

That is true that if we have 20 % solar power in the grid, it is not the end for the need of Grid. But the problem is that that high capital cost baseload power loses profitablity and instead solar and wind power and batteries must be supplemented with cheaper gas turbines and lesser extend with conventional coal that can do load following. There is just not markets anymore for traditional baseload power that pushes steady electricity into grid with 95 % capacity factor.

Therefore the problem is not that there are no need for grid, but the problem is very rapid transformation of the grid economics. Even modest share of roof-top solar power disrupts the grid economics and huge amounts of invested capital loses its value. It is hard to see how utilities could survive the tranformation without wave of bankruptcies and government bailouts.