Battery storage is growing in popularity as a secure and resilient way to store energy and effectively manage consumer supply and demand. Working on behalf of Sumitomo Electric (SEI), Arup undertook a design review of a 2MW battery storage concept system and provided technical expertise for installation. The storage facility holds enough energy to power over 1,000 homes for up to four hours a day.
First of a kind for the US
With California aiming to run the state on 100% renewable energy by 2045, storage is going to be a key component of success. SEI, in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), installed a redox flow battery system in San Diego — the largest of its kind in the US — to test the viability of this technology.
Working on behalf of SEI, Arup undertook a detailed design review of the proposed battery system, prepared design documentation, and assisted with start-up and commissioning. SEI has installed multiple flow battery systems in Japan, including the world’s largest flow battery in Hokkaido. However, with this being the first in the US, we ensured the proposed system and specifications met California code compliance.
2MW secure energy storage
11,348ft² concrete pad for the facility
4 hourselectricity for 1,000 homes
Supporting a greener future for California
The battery — housed in an upcycled shipping container — acts like a sponge soaking up renewable energy harnessed from the sun, and then releases it when consumption demand is high in San Diego.
Part of this storage facility will also aid in research exploring the viability of battery technology. Throughout the pilot project, SEI will review how storage can economically enhance the delivery of reliable energy to customers, integrate growing amounts of renewable energy, and increase flexibility in the way the company manages the power grid. The pilot demonstration will be completed in August 2020, after which SDG&E can purchase the system from SEI.
Successful installation through collaboration
To get the storage pilot programme to the completion stage, we supported SEI throughout the design and installation of the project, with the final installed system sitting on a 11,348ft² concrete pad. As part of our varied scope, our mechanical engineering specialists advised on the grid connection while our geotechnical experts ensured seismic and ground stability. From scheme design through construction documentation and site construction, our experienced energy specialists also provided structural fire-safety advice to SEI to ensure successful installation.
This is SEI’s first flow battery facility installed in the United States and the largest of its kind. It is now successfully connected to SDG&E’s distribution system, allowing over 1,000 homes to benefit from stored low-carbon energy, enabling California to achieve its 2045 target.